Security breaches are widespread today, frequently impacting organizations and users around the world adversely. Knowing the underlying incidents and injuries that cause these violations not only allows us to understand how they occur but also provides valuable knowledge to tackle this increasing danger.
62 percent of data breaches resulted from hacking, and 81 percent of those breaches leveraged either stolen, bad, or default passwords, according to a Verizon report into the causes of security breaches. Social threats accounted for 43% of threats, and some credential-stealing malware was implicated in 51% of data breaches, with 28% of the data breaches investigated involving human error.
The Causes of Security Breaches
A thorough analysis of these statistics shows that human error – even though hazards such as password attacks and social engineering are involved – is the weakest link in the chain. The following three are the most common causes of data breaches that could have important consequences for businesses:
1: Poor Passwords
One of the more common causes of data breaches is compromised credentials obtained by credential harvesting. Acquiring user credentials is the easiest way to gain access to a computer, so it is fair that attackers try to exploit the path of least resistance.
The tendency to prioritize convenience over security has been a long-identified market trait, in which even vendors are guilty. Recent surveys have pointed out that more than 50 percent of IoT computer manufacturers would fail to fix security risks resulting from the bad authentication methods they have used in the past (for example, ERP data security).
Another common risk is the reuse of passwords, a common symptom in companies that implement password complexity policies. For several applications, as users are forced to remember more complex passwords, they are more likely to reuse a single complex password. This puts a credential stuffing attack at risk for the organization.
Another indication of a vulnerability to ERP data protection is the spraying of passwords. In essence, brute-forcing authentication is used in this attack with a small set of commonly used passwords.
2: Human Errors
Simple human error is responsible for more than one-fifth of all security violations. Examples are employees leaving laptops or other electronic devices in vulnerable places where they can be easily stolen, and employees sending sensitive information inadvertently to unauthorized third parties.
Another example of a simple human error that leads to a significant security breach is when an application or database that might unintentionally expose confidential information online is misconfigured by someone.
3: Technology and Procedural Errors
Security breaches may be caused by flaws in the security procedures adopted, such as insufficient patch management. Unpatched devices are primary targets for attackers as the effort involved in successfully breaching the computer is very small.
Technology is never fool-proof, and it can fail from time to time, resulting in exposed data or a compromised computer.
Measures To Defend the Company from a Security Breach
The required hygiene procedures for security (such as critical patch management) would prevent several breaches if properly enforced and treated. As an important part of every implementation process, implementing security regression testing can help avoid technology failures that could possibly 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 believe passwords are necessary for valid and reliable authentication, they remain the Achilles heel of secure authentication practices. With an adaptive multi-factor authentication system that provides more protection with contextual information, companies should consider enhancing their authentication to mitigate the real danger of a security breach caused by poor passwords. This not only protects against bad passwords in an ever-growing security threat environment but also provides IT teams with an extra layer of security and visibility. Besides, data security and analytics solutions that arm you with real-time insights into user behavior and a host of other features can go a long way in helping you ensure data security.