What Is A Data Breach And Its Phases? -Ways To Avoid

According to a study, the average total cost to a company of a data breach is $3.86 million globally. So, what is a data breach? And how can you protect personal information in the event of a data breach?

What Is A Data Breach?

A data breach is an incident where personal information is stolen or accessed without permission. It can also hurt businesses, consumers, and companies. That is because a data breach is a costly expense that can damage lives. As well as reputations. Besides, it takes time to repair.

Why Does Data Breach Occur?

There are several reasons why data breaches occur. They can be targeted attacks or accidentally. Consider the following reasons.

System vulnerabilities exploitation

Softwares that are out of date can create a hole. And that may allow attackers to sneak malware onto the computer. Then it will steal all the sensitive and confidential data.

The Use Of Weak Passwords

Hackers can guess easily weak and insecure passwords. Most especially if the passwords are consist of whole words or phrases. So experts always advise using a unique and complex password.

Breaches Through Drive-By Downloads

Remember also that you may unintentionally download a virus or malware. And that is by visiting a compromised web page.

Moreover, a drive-by download takes advantage of browsers and applications. As well as operating systems that are out of date and have security flaws.

Targeted Malware Attacks

Cyberattackers may use spam and phishing email tactics. By using these methods, they try to trick the users into revealing their user credentials. Or even make them download malware attachments or direct users to vulnerable websites.

Moreover, email is a common way for malware to end up on your computer. So try to avoid opening links or attachments from an email with an unfamiliar source. Especially emails can be made to look like it comes from a trusted source even if it’s not.

The Phases Of Data Breach


After picking the potential target, the attacker looks for weaknesses to exploit. For instance, they will study if they can exploit using the network, systems, or even the employees.

This could mean long hours of research on the attacker’s part. And that may involve stalking employees’ social media profiles to get to know more about the company.

The Attack

The attacker may do a network-based attack or a social attack.

Network-based attack means the attacker exploits weaknesses in the target’s infrastructure to instigate a breach.

Social attack means the attacker may use social engineering tactics to infiltrate the target network. Such tactics include malicious emails sent to employees.

Exfiltration phase

The attacker is now free to extract data from the company’s network once he gets inside. And that data can be used either for blackmail purposes of cyber propaganda.

How Can You Protect Your Personal And Sensitive Information?

  • Use strong and secure passwords.
  • Monitor also your bank and other financial accounts.
  • Check your credit report.
  • Take action as soon as possible.
  • Secure your phone.
  • Also, use only secure URLs.
  • Implement high-quality security software.
  • Back up your files and ensure their safety.
  • Wipe your hard drive.
  • Avoid oversharing on social media, and
  • Use an identity theft protection or credit monitoring service.

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