What is Data Breach? How to Prevent Data Breach

Security Testing

Monday January 7, 2019

Data Breach continues to grow in both frequency and severity, and as companies increasingly digitize, security issues have become more critical than ever. Two of the most significant listed global risks for the year, are identified by the World Economic Forum (WEF), are related with cyber security and data theft and fraud, which top the list along with climate change and natural disasters.

If the violation of data security poses a high risk to the affected people, they should also be informed (unless effective technical and organizational protection measures have been applied, or other measures to ensure that the probability of that the risk is concertized).

Why Data Breaches Happen

Data breaches in the online world are bringing out the dream of an increasing number of CIOs, but what if they could predict where and when they occur?

It may seem like science fiction, but almost all data breach threats, including malware and virtual espionage, are preceded by warning signals that any IT manager can detect.

Being then possible, companies need to invest in detection and prevention, instead of responding to a violation after it has already occurred.

how data breach occur

In a recent survey of network complexity conducted by Solar Winds, IT leaders surveyed commented security as the main reason for the complexity of the current network.

With more rigorous network analysis, however, CIOs can pick up many of the indicator signals that are usually evidence of a malicious attempt to obtain or deny access.

Almost all threats have their own early warning marks that an insightful IT leader manages to detect.

And, by monitoring the areas where those brands usually appear, organizations can significantly reduce the incidence of successful violations, as well as subsequent costs, which reflect on the reduction of profits and the company’s participation in the market.

Symptoms such as low network performance, the sudden increase in the reception of spam and inability to access specific sites, suggest that there are strong possibilities that the network is being attacked.

Most attacks come with the intention of stealing financial data and, sometimes, commercial information. Thus, attacks can come in the form of attempts at data theft, SQL injection, spyware, phishing, hacking and other types of malware.

A rapid increase in packet transfers and WAN traffic, for example, is proof that there is an ongoing DDoS attack attempt.

The high traffic is generated by the bots generating traffic for the service they intend to overthrow. But how is it possible to differentiate a simple performance problem and the start of a malicious violation?

IT leaders need not only to think like a hacker but also to invade the system itself to do tests, looking for flaws and already proposing solutions.

In a DDoS attack, the hacker will probably take control of security vulnerabilities to control his system and use it to attack other systems in the network.

A perfect example of this is the massive sending of messages with the intention of overloading a site with information. In simple terms, the user uses several computers to launch the DDoS attack.

History of data breach

History of data breach

  • On 2005, 1.4 million credit card numbers and names of customers from DSW Shoe Warehouse; was stolen
  • Yahoo was the unfortunate company to face the biggest cyber breach of this century. Over 500 million user details were stolen
  • AOL is considered as the first to face phishing attack that hapened1996
  • Equifax had to face one of the biggest breaches when their 145.5 million account-related data was stolen

Data Breach Statistics 2019

data breach statics

  • 89% of the breaches are an outside attack
  • 2019 so far has witnessed more than 4000 attacks which is 50% higher than that of last year
  • The average cost of a data breach is estimated to be $3.86 million
  • Extensive use of IoT is causing high data protection rate
  • Half of the cyber-attacks are targeted towards small and medium companies
  • It’s estimated that a mind-boggling $6 trillion in damages will be caused by the data breach
  • By the end of 2024, the cybersecurity market will reach a staggering $300 billion
  • It takes only 5 minutes to hack an IoS device
  • 91% of the attacks start with a spear-phishing email
  • Around 247,000,000 attacks was registered in various Kaspersky anti-phishing system
  • Social media has become an easy target for hackers. 56% of the attack that happened in 2018 was on social media
  • Unites States, faced the most attacks
  • Hacking is the main tool used for breaching, 82% of all the recorded incidents

Types of Data Breach

To tackle Data Breach you need to know about various types of cyber-attacks that are happening around the globe.

types of data breach

10 Major type of attacks used for data-breach includes,

  1. Malware attacks
  2. Phishing
  3. Man-in-the-middle attack
  4. Denial-of-service Attack
  5. SQL Injection
  6. Zero-day attack
  7. Cross-site Scripting
  8. Credential reuse attack
  9. Password attack
  10. Drive-by download attack

Why Penetration Testing Is Important for Data breaches?

 A few years back most of the U.S., based companies we failed in understanding about the penetration testing and its parameters. In fact, in recent years, most of the healthcare organizations are still in the queue of struggle to get fully grasp nuances of these activities.

With many all the way along parameters, there are misconceptions as well that actually affects the job work of third-party penetration testers quite tricky with the less effective assessment.

The actual difference between an automated vulnerability scan with significant tools such as Nessus, Qualys, and OpenVAS is quite misunderstood.

What precisely confuses is the matter is basically the penetration test with many levels of intensity. Automated vulnerability scanning is a crucial tool in professional penetration testing.

In the wholesome process of vulnerability scanning, the scanner uses a database with signatures which actually the fingerprints of known, authorized access and vulnerabilities. These scanner signatures give a plethora of useful details but are not that so accurate.

Despite this automated scanning can also result incorrectly with false positives or false negatives respectively.

Penetration testing begins only when the vulnerability scanning ends and any experienced hacker can look at the report and even can make significant changes by erasing off the false positives.

An expert penetration tester or team can also ensure to identify lower level vulnerabilities, if/when changed, by adding context to the breach assessment and even can look falsely reported system by the scanner.

Apart from this whole process penetration test, also include the fraudulent activity of fake emailing to users via unauthorized access to system or data, surprisingly with all such exercising activities.

Whenever you are choosing the best penetration testing approach, it is necessary to consider the maturity of the targeted firm.

If it has never been the part of any vulnerability scanning, then the best step is to start with comprehensive analysis and strategy with enough time for remediation.

How to Prevent Data Breach?

1. Sensitizes The User For The Security Of The Network:

End-user safety training is an excellent benefit for the company since there is a change in behavior and the user’s relationship with the machine.

Training collaborators can help companies to eliminate errors that could lead to an invasion, as well as help them perceive strange behavior by malicious or fraudsters.

2. Develop A Cryptography Policy:

Theft is one of the biggest reasons for the number of data breaches, so it is necessary to have a cryptography policy that must be imposed for the laptops of the collaborators.

3. Implant Detection And Prevention Of Intruders Detection:

It must be used for all systems that are accessible through the Internet, such as web servers, email systems, Active Directory servers or other systems that are considered mission-critical.

4. Stop With Movement Through Download:

There are so many violations that occur via download – malicious or compromised sites that can scan a machine just by accessing a website. Being able to block that is the key to a good security policy.

5. Perform Regular Vulnerability Assessments:

Many companies still only run vulnerability scans, once per quarter. These should be done weekly. Today, organizations must perform vulnerability checks against all systems in their network, both internally and externally.

6. Apply The Integral Correction:

Each person who knows about the necessary correction, but many still do not do so broadly. Many people in IT simply accept updates from Microsoft and believe that everything is okay.

And about the other operating systems like Linux, UNIX, and Mac? The most important are third-party applications that are not corrected by Microsoft, such as Adobe, for example.

7. Use Of Behavior Monitoring:

The use of a system monitoring program, where the HR person or person responsible for compliance can reproduce the behavior of a process is invaluable.

8. Backup Many:

Violations occur due to the loss or theft of data backup tapes. A remote backup service allows the company to use the internet to store information safely and efficiently, without ever needing to use tapes that can be lost or stolen.

9. Regular training Sessions:

Cyber security landscape keeps changing constantly and it is very essential to train both old and new employees from top to bottom level about the changing policies, risks, threats, etc. This way they all will be well informed about the potential threats and can mitigate its risks.

10. Proper Hiring:

If the company’s cyber security department is strong and capable of avoiding and managing breaches, the company can be less worried about such breaks. So while hiring the staff to ensure you hire the best personnel with in-depth knowledge on the subject.

11. Have a proper exit policy:

Whenever any employee exits from the company, there should be a proper policy that can keep a check on employees personal devices carry no sensitive information, signing off a legal document of not sharing private information, etc.

12. Access Rights on Data:

Ensure that only limited and relevant employees are given access to sensitive data. Also, check that the sensitive data is not physically stored at multiple places.

13. Elimination of Data properly:

Ensure that all employees ensure proper deletion of data. Though they may delete the data, its clone might be available at other places in the system. So, ensure the proper deletion of files.

14. Secure your Network:

With the increasing use of mobile devices, and their capability to connect to nearest Wifi, is a potential threat to a data breach through the hot spots. Hence proper arrangements should be made to secure the network of the company.

15. Regular updates of the software:

Regularly updating the software eliminates the risk of the data breach to a great extent.

16. Be ready for any breaches:

Though a company should follow strict measures to stop data breaches, but should be ready to face the worst scenarios or any data breach incidents.

17. Audit:

Regular audits for all your employees and their working habits can help a lot to avoid any data breaches.

18. Early Notification:

If any employee suspects any potential data breach they should immediately inform to their organization.

List of recent data breaches 2019

Companies take many steps to avoid data breaches, but even a small crack in their arrangements can lead to big data breaches. And here we have some of the biggest data breaches of the year 2019:

1. First American Corporation:

One of the biggest data breaches of the year happened with American real estate title insurer, First American Corporation’s website.

Over three-quarters of a billion mortgage deal documents were leaked through the company’s website. These documents carried private information like tax records, bank account numbers, wire transaction receipts, Social Security numbers, and driver’s license images.

Around 885,000,000 files were available over the network without requiring any authentication. These files included documents for the past 16 years. These files were easily available to any person who knew the URL for a valid document at their Website.

By only changing a single digit in the web address they could easily access the other documents. The breach might have been prevented by the use of a serialization Content Management System. A simple plug-in such as Prevent Direct Access might have kept the data of their customers safe.

2. Facebook:

A company like Facebook that needs no introduction was even a victim of one of the biggest data breach of the year. The data breach that affected Facebook in April 2019 is considered to be as biggest social media data breach till date.

The data from Facebook two apps including FB user IDs, FB music, FB likes, FB users’ interests, relationship interests, and more were available to the third party.

3. Fortnight:

One of the most prominent games lately was victimized by a data breach. The game was vulnerable to a data breach where a threat player could take over victim player’s account.

The threat player would message to the victim player and when the victim player would click on the link, the threat player would get access to victims account and can get his account details, could eavesdrop into his chat and his personal conversation at home when he comes to the chatbox, could even use his credit details to purchase V-bucks, Fortnite’s virtual in-game currency.

4. Flipboard:

Flipboard a content aggregation app announced of a data breach in between June 2, 2018, and March 23, 2019, and between April 21, 2019, and April 22, 2019. Their database without any authorization was accessed by the third party.

The database consisted of user’s names, email addresses, usernames, and cryptographic-ally protected passwords. There were no details as on how many account user’s data out of 150,000,000 app users was affected.

5. Oklahoma Department of Securities:

Another huge breach took place at Oklahoma Department of Securities where millions of files with few involved with FBI investigation were available to the public. These files include some crucial files dating back to 1986.

Though there is no clarity on as to when these files were available to the public, there are reports of the website being first registered in November 2018. These files were available through unsecured sync service at an IP address registered to the Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services.


As an organization, it is vital to apply the appropriate technical and organizational measures in order to avoid possible violations of data security. These high-profile data breaches alerted organizations to the importance of safeguarding their data and networks, both now and in the future.



Cost Calc.


Call Us