Data breaches are a term that is seemingly thrown around a lot these days. You can barely open your browser without being flooded with headlines of the latest company involved in a breach or leak. Often we may even wonder how they could’ve been so foolish to allow a breach to happen. However, nobody is impervious to a data breach and anyone can become a victim.
In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at data breaches, how they occur, and the impact they have on businesses and individuals alike. Finally, we’ll also look at a few solutions such as using a location-specific France proxy to protect your network, training employees on data security, and enforcing strong password policies. Keep reading to discover how French proxies can hide the location of all your business’s web activity, and with greater employee awareness there will be fewer careless mistakes that can lead to a data breach.
What Is a Data Breach?
A data breach occurs when an unauthorized person gains access to sensitive or confidential data and opens, views, or shares it. How much data do you store on your personal device? Copies of IDs, medical documents, financial documents, title deeds, and more. How much data does your business store about your customers? Names, contact details, addresses, IDs, social security numbers, and more. If someone were to get access to this information, they can cause a lot of damage.
Unfortunately, that has made this type of data quite lucrative. While some data breaches occur because of an accident, weak data security, or employee carelessness, some cybercriminals want to get their hands on your data. In these situations, they’re even willing to launch attacks to gain access to your business’s network and systems.
Data Breaches are Commonplace
If you’re thinking that you don’t have to worry about data breaches as they don’t affect you, you’re wrong. These breaches can affect anyone. For example, do you have a PayPal account? At the beginning of the year, PayPal experienced a breach in which attackers used credential-stuffing techniques to gain access to the accounts of at least 37 000 people. Just last month, the data of more than 200 million Twitter users was released to the public after a breach. T-Mobile experienced a breach earlier this year in which the information of 37 million customers was stolen.
What Impact Does a Data Breach Have?
Data leaks or breaches can have varying degrees of impact. The effect it has is largely based on the type of data that’s been leaked. However, a data breach is never without repercussions for businesses and individuals alike.
Impact on Businesses
Any business can be a target, not just million-dollar corporations. In many cases, these corporations have stronger security measures in place. Often, small businesses don’t have the same level of protection, making them easier targets. When a data breach occurs it can lead to a major loss of trust and reputation for a business among its clients. There may also be fines applicable, especially when an investigation reveals that the breach could’ve been avoided. These aren’t small fines either and can range anywhere from $2500. In severe cases where an individual knowingly violated the privacy law by exposing confidential data, the fines can even reach as high as $1 million per day. These fines along with loss of reputation can decimate a business completely.
Impact on Individuals
Individuals don’t get off unharmed either. Depending on the type of information involved in the breach, it could lead to different situations. With access to your personal information cybercriminals can pose as you online, they can steal your identity, and can ruin your credit by applying for loans and credit cards in your name.
Main Reasons Data Breaches Occur
Let’s take a look at the main reasons for data breaches:
- Misconfigured software
- Social engineering like phishing attacks
- Reusing old or weak passwords
- Theft of devices containing sensitive data
- Software not being updated
- User error
How to Protect Your Business from a Data Breach
There are ways to protect your business from data breaches. Here are a few solutions listed below:
Use Proxies and Antivirus Software
Good quality proxies can hide your network and connections while using the internet by disguising your IP. You can even go a step further and use a France proxy which is location specific to make it appear you’re using the internet from another country. You should also use reputable antivirus and anti-malware software to protect your systems from known malware attacks.
Data Security Awareness and Training
Make sure to train your employees on how to identify suspicious emails or data threats as well as how to address these situations. Also, make sure to teach them how to work with data responsibly, i.e. using strong passwords, not sharing credentials, etc.
Enforce a Strong Password Policy
Make it part of your company policy that employees cannot use simple or reused passwords to protect their accounts or gain access to systems.
Limit Access and Permissions
Only give access to confidential files to those employees that work with those accounts. There’s no need for every employee to have access to every single file or account.
Have a Data Security Plan in Place
Have a clear plan in place that outlines your protection measures, security policies, responses, and anything else related to protecting against and dealing with potential breaches.
Have Data Security Insurance
Take out enough data security insurance. This is essential in the event that a breach does occur and can help you to cover any of your losses.
Data breaches are happening more frequently and anyone can become a target. Protect yourself by using a good proxy, using strong passwords and two-factor authentication, and also practicing safe data management habits.