What Is a Data Breach? Causes, Examples and Tips to Protect Your Business

The amount of data breaches is increasing, which is putting many businesses under the threat of identity theft. Businesses of all sizes, verticals, and revenues are reporting data breaches. These data breach examples put businesses at risk of significant financial and reputation damage.

All of your work can go to waste if your business is targeted by data thieves. They use this stolen data to mount identity theft attacks that result in lost revenue for businesses. To avoid being a statistic, you should consider the data breach cause examples to learn from.

Read on to learn what is a data breach and what causes them so you can protect your business.

Understanding Data Breaches

A data security breach refers to the unauthorized access, acquisition, or disclosure of sensitive information. It is an incident that can have severe consequences, ranging from financial losses and reputational damage to legal repercussions.

Data breaches can occur through various means, including hacking, malware attacks, physical theft, or human error.

Causes of Data Breaches

Data breaches can occur due to several factors. It is often data breaches can occur due to several factors:

Weak Security Measures

Insufficient security measures, such as weak passwords, lack of encryption, or outdated software, can leave your business susceptible to breaches.

Phishing Attacks

Cybercriminals often employ phishing techniques, tricking individuals into divulging sensitive information through deceptive emails or websites.

Malware and Ransomware

Malicious software, such as malware or ransomware, can infiltrate systems. This allows unauthorized access to data or demands ransom for its release.

Insider Threats

Employees or individuals with authorized access to sensitive data may intentionally or unintentionally compromise its security, leading to a data breach.

Real-World Data Breach Examples

To better understand the impact of data breaches, let’s consider a few real-world examples. Read the following samples and understand each one of them.


In 2017, Equifax, a renowned credit reporting agency, suffered a massive data breach affecting over 147 million consumers. The breach exposed sensitive personal information, including social security numbers, addresses, and birth dates.

Marriott International

In 2018, Marriott International announced a data breach that compromised the personal data of approximately 500 million guests. The breach involved unauthorized access to the Starwood guest reservation database.

Capital One

In 2019, Capital One experienced a data breach resulting in the exposure of over 100 million customer records. The breach occurred due to a misconfigured web application firewall. This allows the attacker to access sensitive information.

Few Tips for Business Protection

Enforce complex passwords and encourage regular password updates. Consider multi-factor authentication to prevent a data leak. Keep all software and systems up to date, including operating systems, applications, and security patches.

Conduct regular training sessions to educate your staff about data security best practices. You may also consider getting help through IT solutions for business that will lead your company to success.

Protecting Your Business From Data Breaches

In conclusion, a data breach is a serious issue that no business should take lightly. It’s important to be aware of the possible causes, how to prevent them, and how to react effectively should a breach occur. Understanding data breach examples and taking the proper steps to protect your business is critical.

Implementing these steps will help protect your business and customers from cyber-attacks. Businesses must take data security seriously and act today to protect against a breach. Don’t wait until it’s too late; take action now.

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