Common Mistakes that Lead to Security Breaches

    Security violations are common today, adversely affecting organizations and users around the world regularly. Not only does understanding the underlying events and accidents that cause these breaches helps us to understand how they occur, but it also offers useful information to address this growing threat.

    According to a study by Verizon into the causes of security breaches, 62 percent of data breaches resulted from hacking, and 81 percent of those breaches leveraged either stolen, poor, or default passwords. Social attacks accounted for 43 percent of attacks, and 51 percent of data breaches involved some credential-stealing malware, with 28 percent of the data breaches investigated involving human error.

    Security Breaches: Common Causes

    A careful review of these figures reveals that human error is the weakest link in the chain, even when hazards such as password attacks and social engineering are involved. The following three happen to be the most common causes of data breaches that could entail significant implications for enterprises:

    1: Poor Passwords

    Compromised passwords that are obtained through credential harvesting are one of the primary causes of data breaches obtained through. The fastest method to gain access to a device is to acquire user credentials, so it is fair that attackers try to manipulate the path of least resistance.

    The low hanging fruit for attackers is poor or default passwords. The propensity to prioritize convenience over protection has been a consumer characteristic long-identified — even vendors are guilty of that. The latest surveys have shown that more than 50 percent of manufacturers of IoT devices would fight to resolve security risks (for example, ERP data security) that arise from the poor authentication practices they have used in the past.

    Reuse of passwords is another common danger, a common symptom in organizations that implement policies for password complexity. As users are forced to recall more complex passwords for multiple applications, they are more likely to reuse a single complex password. This puts the company at risk of a credential stuffing attack.

    The spraying of passwords is another example of a threat to ERP data security. In essence, brute-forcing authentication with a limited list of widely used passwords is involved in this attack. 

    2: Human Errors

    For more than one-fifth of all security breaches, simple human error is liable. Employees leaving laptops or other electronic devices in insecure areas where they can be easily stolen, and employees unintentionally sending confidential information to unauthorized third parties are examples.

    Another example of a simple human error that leads to a severe security breach is when someone misconfigures an application or database that could accidentally reveal sensitive information online.

    3: Technology and Process Errors

    Security violations can be caused by weaknesses in necessary security procedures, such as inadequate patch management. Unpatched systems, including passwords, are primary targets for attackers as the effort involved in breaching the device successfully is very limited.

    Technology is not flawless, and from time to time, it will malfunction, resulting in exposed data or a corrupted device. For example, a software upgrade could create a loophole in software such as a SQL injection, giving attackers the opening they are searching for.

    Measures to Protect Your Organization from a Breach of Security

    If properly implemented and handled, necessary hygiene procedures for protection (such as essential patch management) will prevent many breaches. Adopting security regression testing as an integral part of any implementation phase can help avoid errors in technology that could lead to a security breach, and encrypting data on mobile devices can also help prevent a violation involving a device that has been lost or stolen.

    And while many organizations assume passwords are essential to legitimate and safe authentication, they remain safe authentication practices’ Achilles heel. Organizations should consider improving their authentication with an adaptive multi-factor authentication system that offers more protection with contextual knowledge to minimize the real danger of a security breach caused by weak passwords. In an ever-growing security threat environment, this not only protects against poor passwords but also provides an extra layer of security and visibility for IT teams.

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