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Data Breach – Most Common Types are Not What You Think

There is nothing wrong with fearing the prospect of a hacker invading your server. We have been warned about this in the workplace repeatedly since the internet went mainstream. With ransomware becoming common, hacking is a real and genuine threat to data security. Ransomware is a type of malware that locks down a server’s data and threatens to destroy it unless a ransom is paid – usually in bitcoin – but hacking is not the most common form of data breach.

The Biggest Source of Data Breach – Unauthorized Disclosure

According to Statista, the biggest source of data breach for 2017 in US Healthcare was “unauthorized disclosure”. In other words, unauthorized individuals have access to sensitive information to which permission has not been granted. It can include misplaced files left in public places, information left open on a abandoned computer screen, or when employees give another employee access to their work computer without sufficient privileges. This computer will have access to data that the unauthorized person will easily access. Even if they have no intention of accessing that data, the ability to do so is a data breach. According to a recent survey, 40% of employees healthcare have or would allow an unauthorized colleague to use their terminal. This has increased since 2014.

Online Shopping and Personal Communications

Most employers don’t allow personal communications except in emergency situations. However, some allow some leeway on checking social media while others do not have the infrastructure in place to block employees from accessing such sites. This leaves employees open to using e-commerce services at work. While most transactions go through well-known sites, according to the survey mentioned above, 52% shop online and 34% did not know how to identify an unsecured site. Just 49% correctly identified the unlocked padlock as the correct symbol. Unsecured sites could steal credit card details, access data, or force the download of malware that could steal patient data.

The More Employees, the Higher the Risk

These are the two most common issues regarding data breach, demonstrating a critical lack of understanding of basic security and data protection in the workplace. The more employees you have, the higher the risk of a data breach. In these instances, it may be better to outsource your data retrieval and storage to remove the biggest challenge – unauthorized sharing of information.

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