Online Security Breach

What is an online security breach?

This is a question that seems to be popping up quite often these days.

Well, an online security breach refers to the initial stages of a security attack by a cybercriminal or intruder. Online security breaches occur when the system being breached isn’t protected with effective web security solutions. At an organizational level, it can happen due to a policy failure as well. In terms of impact, an online security breach can range from low-risk to critical.

How does an online security breach occur?

Online security breaches can occur in multiple ways; either by physically accessing a system without authorization or by bypassing network/web security using remote methods. The latter technique is used most frequently.

Cyber-criminals or hackers use a step-by-step approach to this. They begin by researching the target system. This involves searching for inherent weaknesses or vulnerabilities that can be exploited. The weaknesses could exist in the form of actual issues in the network/system or even in the form of the people using the system/accessing the network.

Once the weaknesses are identified, cybercriminals exploit them via a network attack or social attack. A network attack is carried out by using the network/system/infrastructure’s own vulnerabilities against it. By doing so, the attacker manages to breach the system.

Social attacks, on the other hand, involve baiting a human who has access to the network/system. An employee or user may be fooled into providing login credentials, which the attackers then use to gain access.

Once the criminals gain access, they can attack the network and acquire confidential information that is stored in the system. The data that is stolen through such attacks mostly consists of information related to personal identity. The stolen identity can then be used to carry out actual theft and fraud. So, identity theft is the most common objective when it comes to online security breaches.

Preventing an online security breach

Depending on whether it’s an organization or individual, there are different preventive strategies that can be used to prevent online security breaches. For instance, organizations must have effective security policies in place and these policies must be enforced.

They must run regular background checks on employees that have access to confidential data and train the general workforce on security measures. Other than that, organizations must invest in robust security solutions that are relevant to their needs.

Individuals, on the other hand, should save their data on encrypted devices that are not connected to the network, such as external drives. Apart from that, they must learn not to share information with unknown sources. They must password protect confidential files with unique and complex passwords that cannot be easily decrypted.