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Most Common Reasons of Data Breaches Explained

Do you know the average cost of a data breach in 2020 was $3.86 million?


A data breach can have adverse effects on your personal and professional life.




Many well-known companies like Microsoft have been the victim of a data breach and have faced huge financial losses.


The most common reasons for data breaches are:


1. Human errors

You will be surprised to know that 23% of data breaches are due to human error.


Mistakes do happen. But some mistakes like not shredding confidential documents, responding to unauthorised mails and losing a laptop can result in serious consequences.


Any criminal can steal and access sensitive information which can be perilous for you and your organisation.


The best way to prevent user errors are:

  • Destroy old papers once they are not needed

  • Keep your official devices and documents in a pallet storage

  • Avoid keeping sensitive data on mobile devices

  • Don’t leave your system exposed and unattended


2. Hacking

As per a 2020 report, nearly 52% of data branches were due to hacking.


Hacking is one of the main reasons behind data breaches. It provides an unauthorised access to your systems and steals critical financial information.




For instance, any hacker can crack your system password to steal private information, including your name, credit card details, etc.


However, the consequences can be fatal and you may have to pay hefty fines.


Tips to protect your data from hackers are:


● Don’t use public Wi-Fi to access personal or financial data

● Download only approved applications on your devices

● Don’t open any unauthorised mails

● Install an antivirus software


3. Weak passwords


As per a Verizon study, 63% of data breaches are the result of weak, default or stolen passwords.


Many people keep their system passwords as “1234567890” or “qwerty”.


However, no matter how strong and robust your security systems are, a weak password can result in a data breach.


Any criminal can log into your system and misuse all the data.


Tips to have a strong password are:

  • Create a minimum 10 characters password

  • Include numbers, special symbols and letters

  • Avoid using personal information like birthdate, phone number, etc.

  • Different accounts, different passwords

  • Change your passwords regularly


4. Social engineering

As per sources, 70% to 90% of breaches are due to social engineering.


Social engineering is a tactic to gain the victim’s trust to reveal private information for illegal reasons.


Some of the examples are phishing, baiting, malware, pretexting etc.


The famous auto parts supplier, Toyota Boshoku Corporation has been the victim of a social engineering attack in 2019.


Tips to prevent social engineering attacks are:

  • Secure your devices with anti-virus software, firewalls and email filters

  • Avoid replying to any request for personal information

  • Enable spam filter

  • Update all your softwares

  • Be extra cautious when working online

  • Check attachments and links before responding


5. Physical theft

You will be surprised to know, “Laptop is stolen every 53 seconds.”


Physical theft of devices like laptops, hard drives, servers, tablets or mobile devices make you highly vulnerable to a data breach.

Most thefts happen in offices and public places. So, it’s important to be extra attentive and alert.


In the end…

Even a small data breach can be disastrous for your business and can ruin your reputation.


Make sure to follow all the necessary safety measures to lower the risks.


Above all, if your company deals with a lot of paperwork, make sure to shred the documents on time. Get in touch with us at 0458 088 000 for secure document destruction in Perth.


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