A data leak occurs when sensitive data is accidentally exposed, either electronically or physically. Internal data breaches are possible, as are physical data leaks from external hard drives or laptops.
If a cyber-criminal discovers a data leak, the knowledge might be used to prepare for a data breach assault.
Personally Identifiable Information (PII), such as names, contact information, and financial information, is The Holy Grail of sensitive data exposure. Other, less powerful types of data leaks can be used to conduct reconnaissance operations and unearth corporate secrets.
Top four data breach types.
- Customer information
Customer data exposures including Personal Identifiable Information (PII) were among the most serious data breaches. Each business has its own set of customer information. Any of the following might be considered sensitive information about a customer:
Product browsing habits
- Company information
Internal company information has been leaked, exposing critical internal behaviour. Unscrupulous corporations following their competitors’ marketing efforts are often the target of such data dumps.
The following are examples of company data leaks:
- Trade secrets
This is the most hazardous type of data breach for a company. Theft of intellectual property obliterates a company’s potential and brings it to a halt.
The following are examples of trade secret data leakage:
Upcoming product plans
Proprietary technology information
Vast data sets feed analytics dashboards, and hackers are lured to any large pool of data. As a result, analytics software is an attack vector that must be monitored.
Analytics data leaks could include the following:
Customer behaviour data
Are Data Leaks and Data Breaches different?
A data breach is the result of a deliberate cyber assault, whereas a data leak is the result of a company’s unintentional exposure of critical information. Data leaks are discovered by cyber-criminals, who then utilise them to initiate data breach attacks.
Poor security policies are frequently the cause of data breaches. A company’s reputation might be harmed if one of its vendors has a data breach. Because these flaws exist over such a large attack landscape, they’re difficult to spot and fix before it’s too late.
Businesses will remain exposed to data breaches through their third-party network until they have a comprehensive data protection solution.
Steer Safe from Data Leaks
We shall list below but a few data security procedures that might help in preventing data leaks and data breaches.
- Assess the threat posed by third parties.
Unfortunately, your vendors may not be as concerned about cyber-security as you are. It’s critical to keep an eye on all suppliers’ security postures to verify they’re not at risk of a data leak.
Vendor risk assessments are a frequent way to keep third-party vendors compliant with regulatory requirements including HIPAA, PCI-DSS, and GDPR. Risk questionnaires might be created by combining pertinent questions from current frameworks, or supplied through a third-party attack surface monitoring service, if possible.
Risk questionnaires might be created by combining pertinent questions from current frameworks, or supplied through a third-party attack surface monitoring service, if possible.
Keeping up with the risk management demands of a large third-party cloud service network may be tough. Third-party risk management is best left to a team of Cyber-research experts to avoid ignored vendor hazards that leave firms exposed to data breaches.
- Monitor all network access
The more business network traffic that is monitored, the more likely it is that suspicious activity will be detected. Reconnaissance campaigns are typically conducted prior to data breach attempts, as hackers must discover the exact defenses they need to bypass during an attack.
Organizations may use data leak prevention technologies to discover and address security weaknesses, reducing the risk of reconnaissance campaigns.
To enforce privileged access to extremely sensitive data, security policies may need to be updated.
- Identify all sensitive data
Businesses must first identify any sensitive data that needs to be protected before implementing Data Loss Prevention (DLP) measures. This information hast to be properly categorized in accordance with rigorous security regulations. Categories might include Protective Health Information, as well as other types of sensitive information.
A corporation may customize the most effective data leak prevention defenses for each data category once all sensitive data has been located and accurately categorized.
- Secure all endpoints
Any remote access point that connects with a corporate network, either through end-users or autonomously, is referred to as an endpoint. Internet of Things (IoT) devices, PCs, and mobile devices are all included.
Endpoints have increasingly distributed (sometimes even worldwide) since most firms have adopted some type of remote working model, making them more difficult to safeguard.
Firewalls and VPNs provide a foundation for endpoint security, but they’re insufficient. To get over these security barriers, employees are frequently duped into bringing malware into an environment.
Organizations must teach their employees to spot cyber-criminal’s ruses, notably email phishing and social engineering attempts.
- Encrypt all data
If the data is encrypted, cyber-criminals may have a harder time exploiting data leaks. Symmetric-Key Encryption and Public-Key Encryption are the two basic types of data encryption.
While sophomoric hackers may be stumped by encrypted material, caustic cyber attackers might decipher it without a decryption key. As a result, data encryption should not be used alone to avoid data leaks, but rather in conjunction with the other measures on this list.
- Evaluate all permissions
Your personal information might now be accessible by people who don’t need it. As a first step, all permissions should be reviewed to ensure that only authorized parties have access.
After this has been confirmed, all vital data should be classified into distinct levels of sensitivity to manage access to separate data pools. Highly sensitive data should only be accessible to trusted employees who need it.
This privileged access assignment procedure may also reveal any malevolent insiders who are assisting in the exfiltration of sensitive data.