What Can You Consider a Data Privacy Breach?

A data privacy breach can have a number of effects. In addition to the financial costs, it can negatively affect individual lives. It can also be the result of human error or an honest mistake. Fortunately, there are some ways to minimize the damage. 

Cost of data privacy breach

The cost of a data privacy breach can be enormous for a company. It can range from million-dollar lawsuits to damage to a company’s reputation. And the indirect costs can affect the company for years. While the United States has the most expensive data breaches, Germany has the lowest cost, at only 4.85 million.

The cost of a data privacy breach depends on the data type involved. Various organizations hold different data types, ranging from credit card details to details about a person’s private life. According to the 2020 IBM report, 80% of the data breached was customer PII. On average, these breaches cost $180 per record.

Impact on individuals

Data privacy breaches can result in various consequences for individuals, including material and emotional damage. While some breaches will be minor and have no adverse impact beyond inconvenience, others can be much worse. Therefore, it is important to assess each case on a case-by-case basis to determine the extent of harm.

For example, a hospital data privacy breach may result in the accidental disclosure of patient records. The impact of such a breach on patients is high. Therefore, an organization must notify the affected individuals as soon as possible. This will help minimize the immediate impact and protect individual rights. The notification of affected individuals will also assist them in protecting themselves.

Organizations are required by law to notify individuals of data breaches. These laws vary from country to country. While most focus on identifying the individuals affected by a data breach, many also cover how to notify them.

Human error

A recent study conducted by the CompTIA security industry group has found that human error is one of the biggest causes of security breaches. The survey was conducted among 700 IT professionals and business executives. The results show that while IT staff and general employees may be more concerned about security issues, human error remains a serious problem.

Human error can be the result of a lack of training or knowledge. As a result, employees may be tempted to engage in risky cybersecurity behavior without this knowledge. Organizations must address this problem to prevent these breaches.

Outside attackers

While external attackers are the most common form of a data breach, insiders can also be responsible for data breaches. These employees often have access to sensitive information without the proper credentials. In addition, they often have several responsibilities and may have conflicting interests. As a result, they are prone to misuse their access to data.

Outside attackers often use insider vulnerabilities to gain access to critical systems. A recent example is the Target data breach, where hackers obtained authorized vendor credentials and gained access to the company’s network. Unfortunately, these attacks do not trigger alarms and allow hackers to access data without triggering security measures.