The digitalization of every aspect of the modern life resulted into the creation of several documents, files and databases containing lots of sensitive information. This information is very important because it contains sensitive details related to the life and work of a huge number of people. The importance of the protection of this information arouse after this information was subjected to several attacks damaging the files containing the information or stealing it and using it for illegal and harmful uses. Successful attacks on protected information are called security breaches.
What is a security breach?
A security breach is an incident in which confidential and protected information are accessed, copied, transmitted, viewed or used by unauthorized users. Security breaches are not limited to data and may include access and violations to services, networks, applications and devices. Data breaches are associated with financial information such as credit card numbers and bank account details, personal health information that could be stored in hospitals and any kind of data stored in an organization database.
Reasons behind security breaches
These are some of the most common reasons behind security breaches:
Some individuals develop technology which is able to break weak firewalls or passwords to enter systems and databases illegally and use information for harmful means.
Installing harmful programs
Some employees download applications that contain some malware inside of it which is used to steal information or harm the system.
Some employees might reveal secret data unintentionally due to their ignorance of the sensitivity of this information. Others might reveal it intentionally to harm the organization.
Weak security systems
Weak passwords and weak protection systems make your system an easy target for possible attacks.
Lots of smart phones are connected to organizational systems and have access to some important information. When these mobiles are lost the information is jeopardized
Famous security breaches
Heartland payment systems
In 2008, an American citizen and two Russian accomplices have masterminded an operation that lead to the exposure of 134 million credit cards through SQL injection to install spyware on heartland’s data systems.
TJX companies Inc.
In 2006, an operation lead to the exposure of 94 million credit cards. There are two stories about how this incident happened. One story claims that a group of hackers took advantage of a weak encryption system to steal credit card data. The other story claims that the hackers broke into TJX network through in store-kiosks that were meant to allow people to apply electronically for jobs.