81% of Breaches Are Password Hacking-Related! Top 10 Most Common Causes of a Data Leakage

A case of a data leak: Young woman using computer and coding to steal private information.

With most of our business conducted online, and much of our data stored digitally, it is an absolute must for businesses to protect their data. Data leakage can be exceptionally damaging and expensive. Unfortunately, many organizations fail to understand how exactly data leaks and breaches happen. 

Not to worry—this article is here to help. The following are the top 10 most common causes of data leakage:

1. Phishing

Phishing is a malicious attempt to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, credit card details, and other confidential information. Organizations may be at risk of a data leakage if they don’t have proper security measures in place to protect them from phishing scams.

2. Malware

Malware is software that is designed to infect devices, networks, and systems with malicious code. It can come in the form of spyware, Trojans, adware, or any other type of malicious code. Organizations need to ensure that their systems are up-to-date and properly protected against malware attacks.

3. Insider Threats

Insider threats refer to individuals within an organization who have access to sensitive data and use it for malicious purposes such as financial gain, competitive advantage, or personal satisfaction. An easy way to boost security is to implement access controls. This cybersecurity tool ensures only authorized individuals can access sensitive data.

4. Poor Security Strategy

A poor security strategy is a recipe for a data leakage. Weak security makes it easy for cybercriminals to hack into systems. But a robust security strategy can help businesses stay ahead of cyberattacks. Security strategies should cover all digital assets, including devices, networks, and systems.

5. Weak Passwords or Password Sharing

Using weak passwords or sharing passwords is one of the most common causes of data leakage—around 81% of breaches are password hacking-related! Organizations can combat unauthorized access to accounts by implementing strict password policies and requiring two-factor authentication wherever possible.

6. Unpatched Software Vulnerabilities

Organizations may not realize the severity behind unpatched software. While many employees ignore software update notifications, these updates are meant to patch existing holes within the software. Failure to do so increases the possibility of a data leakage. After all, cybercriminals are constantly seeking your weaknesses and can gain entry through unpatched software.

7. Unencrypted Data

Known as data in transit, data that is sent over the internet needs to be encrypted before it’s transmitted. It’s easy for cybercriminals to fish out moving data and steal it. Additionally, data at rest (data currently stored) still faces the risk of a breach. Encryption requires a key to unlock the content being protected. It can shield data even if the data falls into the wrong hands.

8. Unsecured Wi-Fi Networks

Unsecured Wi-Fi networks are another common cause of data leakage because they allow hackers easy access to corporate networks and systems. Organizations can protect all their wireless networks with strong encryption and authentication protocols.

9. Poorly Secured Cloud 

The cloud is becoming increasingly popular. It offers organizations extensive storage and computing capabilities. However, if the cloud is not properly secured, then a data leakage can occur. Many IT providers like eMDTec provide cloud services that are designed to strengthen the security of the cloud with features like automatic updates and 24/7 monitoring.

10. Inadequate Physical Security Measures

With increasing attention turned to the cyber world, many organizations are neglecting physical security. Tools like real life access control systems and surveillance cameras can protect against unauthorized access and tampering.

Let eMDTec Protect You

While data leaks can be very damaging, there are steps that organizations can take to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Working with a managed service provider (MSP) such as eMDTec can help organizations build a secure infrastructure and provide them with the security services they need to prevent a potential data leak. 

eMDTec’s backup disaster recovery services also ensure that organizations have backups of their critical data should any type of data leakage occur. Contact eMDTec today to see how we can protect you and your data.

Did You Know the FTC Safeguards Rule Extension Is Almost Over?

Starting after June 9th, 2023, financial institutions must make greater efforts to avoid data leakage. Schedule a cybersecurity assessment with eMDTec today to make sure your financial institution is compliant with GLBA requirements befor the deadline. Contact us for more information!