Data breaches can cause companies both time and money. While breaches are inspected and systems restored, valuable time can be lost due to the disruption. The financial effects can be even more problematic, with not only expensive forensic investigations and new security solutions to contend with, but costly legal battles with data subjects and fines from regulators if a firm is found to be at fault.

Cybercriminal groups target organisations and enterprises with a wide range of attacks causing data breaches. In the following sections, we will explore some of these tactics and their impact on companies.

1. Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of crypto malware capable of infecting servers, systems and the data they contain. Once deployed, the malicious software locks user access, stopping enterprises from viewing or using their own data. In return for releasing their data, companies are requested to pay a ransom, typically in hard to trace cryptocurrency. If firms refuse to pay, ransomware operators will threaten to either delete the data or expose it. Whether the data is destroyed or released, it will constitute a data breach, which can result in expensive fines and legal costs.

2. Stealing passwords

Unauthorised access can be granted when hackers are able to guess or steal passwords. When passwords are too simple or stored within a system, they can easily be taken advantage of. Additionally, cybercriminals use phishing emails designed to fool employees into clicking on links that take them to fake sites to steal credentials. Following the link, staff will be redirected to a site that impersonates a sign-in page and may willingly enter their username and personal password. Those operating the insidious site can then steal the company credentials and use them to breach any files the user has access to. Hackers often target senior management in such attacks, as they often possess authorisation to view confidential data.

3. Spear phishing

Spear phishing emails are a more targeted form of traditional phishing tactics that impersonate individuals and enterprises to trick personnel into parting with sensitive data. Using a combination of publicly available information, combined with stolen Personally Identifiable Information (PII), hackers make targets believe they are dealing with a trusted source in order to collect a wealth of data, from credit card details to confidential company dealings.

4. Stolen data from devices

Human error can cost companies millions when sensitive data is exposed. Today’s technology sees enterprise employees use a wide range of devices to execute their roles, from smartphones and tablets to more traditional desktop computers. Staff losing or leaving computers and phones in unsafe places or without appropriate security in place can easily cause a data breach. If sensitive information can be accessed from the device, a data breach can occur.

Protecting your enterprise

At Galaxkey, we have developed a secure platform that offers comprehensive protection against data breaches. No passwords are ever stored on our system, and end-to-end encryption keeps information safe at any location and on any device. Robust features included also allow users to validate email sources, protecting against phishing attacks. Contact our team today for a free trial.