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Fraud & Risk Management

What is a Security Breach?


Nowadays, security breaches have become more common. In 2019 alone, there were 4.1 billion records exposed in data breaches within the first six months. A security breach can affect your organization’s finances and even reputation. Here is everything you need to know about security breaches to help keep your organization secure.

What is a security breach?

It is when an intruder gets unauthorized access to your organization’s protected systems and data. It can lead to data loss and system damage.

Types of security breaches

There are different types of security breaches but the common ones are:


Cybercriminals can use phishing emails to gain entry into your security system. All it takes is one employee to click on the phishing email and the malicious software begins to spread to other networks. The emails are often received as an image, attached text, or audio file.

Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks

A DDoS can crash a website since hackers can make the website unavailable by flooding it with traffic. DDoS attacks use botnets to hijack devices and send traffic from numerous sources, making a website unavailable.  The attacks are mostly targeted at financial and government websites.

Social engineering

Attackers can manipulate an organization’s employees and trick them to expose sensitive information. They can use fake messages or emails that encourage employees to reply with private information or download malicious attachments.

Password attack

If you use weak passwords, they can be easily guessed or cracked. Some people still use common passwords, such as ‘password’ and ‘12345’. Such passwords are easy for hackers to figure out. Most people even use the same passwords for multiple accounts, which makes it easy for hackers to access their services. Hackers can use your passwords to access your bank details and even make purchases using your details.

How to protect yourself from security breaches

Your information is with healthcare providers, government agencies, and financial institutions. You can only do much to prevent a security breach in such places. However, there are things you can do to protect yourself before the breach.

Create strong passwords

When creating your password, use a combination of lower case letters, symbols, upper case letters, and numbers. It will be difficult for hackers to crack such passwords. Never use passwords that are easy to guess, like birthdays or family names. You can also use a password manager to keep your password safe.

Use secure websites

When accessing websites, make sure it has “HTTPS” in the web address. The ‘S” indicates that the website has an encrypted connection.

Use different passwords for different accounts

Using one password for multiple accounts is an easy way for a breach to occur. You can avoid that by creating different passwords for different accounts. That way, if one account gets compromised, then hackers will be unable to access other accounts.

Close dormant accounts

You’ll reduce your vulnerability to security threats when you close accounts you no longer use. It’ll be hard to know if an account has been compromised if you don’t use it.

Install updates

You should always update your computer and mobile devices with the latest applications and operating systems.

Use antivirus software

Antivirus software keeps your computer free from security breaches. It will scan your computer for malware and prevent it from being hacked.

Sign up for credit reports

Checking your credit report regularly will ensure that no imposter has opened credit cards in your name.

How to respond to a security breach

If you notice that your security has been compromised, taking quick actions will keep you safe. Here is what to do when you experience a security breach.

  • Change your passwords
  • Consider a credit freeze
  • Notify your banks and financial institutions
  • Download and back up files on your organization’s servers
  • Verify the source of breach notification

Security breaches can do a lot of harm to your organization. With the above measures, you can mitigate the damage and be safe from cybersecurity threats. Contact us for more information.

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