5 most popular causes of data leaks

Data breaches happen way more often than you might think. Companies of all sizes suffer from them constantly losing their power and credibility in their customers’ eyes. And the latter is, perhaps, the worst thing about a data leak. Once a business failed to protect its information — which includes the customer data, of course — it’s quite expected that existing and potential clients will stop trusting this brand.

A data breach can happen at any moment and to any business regardless of its popularity — malefactors can always figure out how to make a profit. More frequently, leaks occur during mergers and acquisitions and other business processes involving many papers. It’s easier to intercept data during these activities due to their nature — participants have to exchange sensitive details. However, malefactors can get their hands on confidential documents at any moment, too. Let’s see how they could do that.

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1. A human mistake

Of course, entrepreneurs don’t want to think anything wrong about their employees. But the statistics show that, unfortunately, a more significant part of all data breaches happen precisely due to a human mistake. Someone could disclose their login details, unintentionally giving a malefactor access to the corporate repository. Or an employee could keep some of the sensitive documents on their unprotected device that got hacked. Instead, there are a lot of situations when a person could cause a data breach utterly unaware of that.

However, sometimes employees disclose sensitive information on the purpose for different reasons — often, it’s money, of course. Moreover, there is no need for this person to be a long-term employee. For example, they could be freelancers who work with your company for a limited amount of time. 

It’s quite hard to take this nuance under control, but it’s not impossible. Implementing a dataroom in the workflow would be a good step. This software offers two-factor authentication that will make it much harder for malefactors to enter the repository even if they know the login details. Also, a virtual data room allows an organization to see who is accessing the files and what users are doing with each document. Thus, it gets easier to control the safety of corporate information.

2. Bad passwords

Despite that every service tries to push a user to create a potent combination for their password, most people still use simple ones. Even the biggest corporations will rarely fail to find a variety that looks something like “password1234” if they look at their employees’ login details.

Weak passwords are a treat for malefactors who have those smart bots that will sift through different combinations until they find the right one. A hacker won’t even need to do anything here!

This is another reason to adopt a data room. It will lower the risks with its two-factor authentication. Also, most providers allow VDR administrators to set custom rules for user passwords — it means, employees simply won’t have another option than just to create a strong combination.

3. Generic cloud storages

People enjoy using cloud repositories like Dropbox or Google Drive, and they tend to stick to these services to store and exchange corporate documents. We wouldn’t say that such storages are not safe at all. But the mere fact that, say, Google Drive keeps you logged in for as long as you don’t log out should get you alerted. What if someone gained access to your device that’s logged into the repository?

We’ve seen many data breaches that happened to those using generic cloud storage for personal and business needs. So it’s quite counterintuitive to think that one could trust these services some sensitive corporate information. It’s much more reliable to use a virtual data room that’s protected from unauthorized access in any way possible. Providers of this software will safeguard customer data both during the transfer and at rest while giving businesses control over their information security.

4. No access control

Often, companies don’t think twice before giving a new employee, partner, or temporary worker access to corporate files. While it might be an easy thing to control in the beginning, one could just revoke the access if a person is no longer a member of the team — things get more complicated as the number of the staff and partners goes up, especially if a company is using some generic cloud storage that doesn’t offer a simple way to cut access for some users.

On the other hand, a virtual data room allows organizations to see clearly who can access a repository and what actions they can perform with the documents. Using a VDR, companies can give invited parties different access levels, making sure no one has too many data storage rights. This software also allows setting an expiration date for the access issued to certain users — then once the collaboration is over, the system will automatically revoke the rights. Therefore, it’s easy to control all the users’ activity in the data room, especially considering reports on their actions.

5. Malicious software

Malware always was one of the main instruments in the hands of hackers. And as it becomes even more advanced, malefactors can reach better results with this tool’s help. There is an eternal battle between hackers and security specialists when it comes to malware, and here is some sad news — the good guys are continually losing. Professionals can come up with the protective measure for a new malware only once it becomes known — read when it infects a device and gets detected by an antivirus. And when the solution for this malicious software is ready, hackers already have a new virus in their hands.

Nevertheless, businesses and general users need to have a good antivirus installed on all devices. Antivirus providers offer tailored and more robust solutions for organizations — so companies should use those. These programs provide businesses with better endpoint security and other tools to improve a corporate network’s safety.

As you can see, there are quite many threats that can cause a data leak. And every company should mind those risks regardless of the industry, the size of an organization, and other nuances. Every business is vulnerable to a data breach, that can be avoided by using specific solutions, such as virtual data rooms. 

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