7 Common Causes of Data Breaches

7 Common Causes of Data Breaches

Written by Deepak Bhagat, In Cybersecurity, Technology, Updated On
May 14th, 2024

Data breaches can have disastrous consequences for individuals and businesses. They threaten not only the security of data but also the safety and privacy of customers, about which companies must be especially vigilant. Unauthorized access, malware attacks, vulnerable web applications, insecure wireless networks—the threats are real and varied; understanding them is critical to preventing a breach.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the top 7 most common causes of data breaches so you can identify vulnerabilities within your infrastructure and take proactive measures against them. Let’s start.

7 Main Causes For Data Breaches

Data Breaches

  • Security vulnerabilities caused by employee negligence

One of the most common ways companies can experience a data breach is through employee negligence. Many cyberattacks take advantage of users who fail to follow security guidelines to the letter, such as not updating the systems regularly, allowing unauthorized access to accounts, or leaving a workstation unlocked. Hold regular training sessions to remind staff to be diligent in their cyber practices to avoid getting hacked and reduce the number of security vulnerabilities caused by employees.

Additionally, enforcing strong password policies and two-factor authentication can add a layer of protection to your organization’s IT infrastructure. You can get more tips on how to avoid getting hacked at domstechblog.com. You will save yourself a lot of trouble in the long run.

  • Lack of security awareness and training among employees

Data security is a top priority in any organization, but many companies fail to provide security training to their employees. Unfortunately, this lack of security awareness and understanding can lead to costly data breaches.

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Companies need to educate their staff on the basics of data protection to ensure that confidential information remains secure. Moreover, ignoring software updates or accessing restricted websites can put private data at risk.

With proper instruction, companies can ensure peace of mind regarding their corporate digital security and safeguarding valuable proprietary information.

  • Unsecured endpoints such as laptops and mobile devices

Unsecured endpoints can be a significant security risk for businesses, as laptops and mobile devices often cause costly data breaches. These weak points in the system leave an opening for malicious sources to access sensitive information, which can have severe consequences for any organization.

Implementing endpoint security measures such as encryption and dual-factor authentication is essential for protecting confidential data. Companies should review remote access policies regularly to ensure that all connected devices remain secure.

With careful planning, businesses can reduce the likelihood of security incidents occurring due to unsecured endpoints.

  • Use of unsecured Wi-Fi networks

Using public Wi-Fi networks without due care and caution has become an all too common side effect of our increasingly digitized lives.

With the ubiquity of access to public Wi-Fi networks, individuals must be aware that these networks are inherently insecure and leave their data vulnerable to attack. Protecting ourselves on public Wi-Fi networks means utilizing a Virtual Private Network (VPN) when accessing the internet to secure and protect our data from malicious cybercriminals looking to steal information.

Even if an individual is adequately protected while utilizing an unsecured network, others on the same network might not be, making them—and, by extension, you—susceptible to a data breach. Companies that manage personal or financial data must ensure extra caution is used if their staff or employees are required to work remotely on any unsecured network for their protection and that of any clients or customers.

  • Insecure data storage practices

Data Breaches

Data breaches can damage a company’s reputation and financial standing. One of the most common causes of data breaches is wrong data storage practices. This can include storing confidential information without adequate protection, not assessing the need for data encryption, or neglecting to educate employees on proper security protocols.

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Choosing weak passwords or using the same password across multiple accounts and sites increases the risk of dangerous cyberattacks. As such, it is wise for businesses to prioritize cybersecurity, starting with secure data storage practices and continuing throughout all operations.

Additionally, according to AdFixus, businesses should start migrating to first-party cookies to improve data security for their customers.

  • Malware and ransomware attacks

Malware and ransomware attacks are becoming increasingly common, and individuals and businesses are victims of these threats daily. Malware, short for malicious software, is a program designed to damage or turn off computers, networks, and servers. Such intrusions can come from viruses, worms, Trojans, and other malicious codes.

A ransomware attack is when criminals gain access to an organization’s files or network systems through malware attacks and hold data hostage until a ransom is paid. These cyberattacks can cause tremendous damage, including stealing valuable data, taking down servers, and disabling network devices.

Therefore, individuals and organizations must protect themselves against such malicious activities by ensuring that their systems remain current with the latest security updates, using anti-malware/anti-virus software, and training staff to recognise suspicious emails or links.

  • Phishing and social engineering scams

Phishing and social engineering scams have become significant company issues, often leading to severe data breaches. Typical schemes include sending fake emails acting to be from trusted sources, social media impersonation, false payment requests, and more.

Companies must ensure their employees know the dangers of clicking on suspicious links, opening unknown emails, and entering information into any site they don’t fully trust. It’s also crucial for businesses to keep up-to-date with security measures and software updates to prevent any malicious attacks or data theft.

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By staying alert and vigilantly protecting corporate data, companies can help reduce the risk of falling prey to phishing and social engineering scams.


With the increasing threat of cybercrime and the potential damage that data breaches can cause, individuals and businesses must stay aware of the dangers posed by these breaches. Organizations must implement secure data storage practices and keep their systems updated with security updates to protect against malware, ransomware, phishing, social engineering scams, and DoS attacks. By taking the necessary precautions, individuals and businesses can reduce their risk of becoming victims of data breaches.

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