8 Common Types Of Data Breach And How IT Support Can Help Your Business Avoid It

Find out the most common types of data breaches and how to protect your business from them. Click here to learn more!

Data breaches are becoming increasingly common in today’s digital age. Whether it’s a small business or a large corporation, no one is immune to the potential risks of a data breach. Understanding the different types of breaches and how they occur is the first step in protecting yourself and your organization. This article will explore eight common types of data breaches: phishing, ransomware, insider threat, social engineering, SQL injection, malware, physical theft, and denial of service. By understanding these types of breaches and having cyber security tips for small businesses, you will be better equipped to take steps to protect yourself and your organization from potential threats.


Phishing is a type of cyber attack. People who do phishing try to trick you into giving them your personal information like passwords or credit card numbers. They usually send emails that look real but have bad links that can provide the person access to your data when you click on them.

Most Common Phishing Tactics

  • Email Scams: Fake emails claiming to be from trusted sources, such as banks or government agencies, that ask for private information, malicious links, and attachments in emails.
  • Fake Websites: Look-alike websites made to look legitimate but with malicious intent; bogus requests for personal information on fraudulent web pages.
  • Malicious Ads: Popups or strange web ads prompt you to enter sensitive data.
  • Phone Calls & Text Messages: Spam calls or texts asking for personal details and payments by gift cards, wire transfers, etc.
  • Social Engineering Attacks: Fake social media profiles used to collect personal data from unsuspecting users; unsolicited offers of help from “customer service” agents trying to steal your identity.

Potential Consequences

Falling victim to a phishing attack can have serious consequences. Personal information can be stolen and used for identity theft. Financial information can be used for fraudulent activities, and in the case of businesses, it could leak sensitive and confidential information.

It is essential to be vigilant when interacting with emails and websites and to look out for suspicious or unexpected personal information requests.

How To Avoid Phishing with the Help of IT Support

The first step in avoiding a phishing attack has an IT Support team to help you identify suspicious emails and URLs. Your IT support team should be able to train your employees on how to spot potential phishing attempts and provide guidance on what steps to take if they are targeted. Additionally, IT support staff should be kept up-to-date on the latest techniques used by phishers and be able to develop policies and procedures to prevent attacks from occurring.

They should also have access to password management tools that can help ensure strong passwords and multi-factor authentication for additional protection. Finally, your IT support team should always be available to answer any questions about potential threats and provide guidance on how to protect your data best. With the help of an IT support team, you can ensure that your business is not vulnerable to phishing attacks.


Ransomware is malicious software that encrypts or locks files and systems until a ransom is paid. It usually arrives via email or a malicious link and is often disguised as a legitimate file. Once installed, the ransomware can spread quickly throughout an organization’s systems, encrypting data and making it inaccessible unless the ransom is paid.

Most Common Ransomware Tactics

Ransomware is typically delivered in one of several ways:

  • Email Phishing: Malicious emails containing ransomware attachments or links.
  • Malicious Websites: Sites that download the virus onto your computer when you visit them.
  • Drive-by Downloads: Unsolicited downloads initiated by visiting an infected site.
  • Exploits & Vulnerabilities: Taking advantage of security weaknesses in software, applications, and operating systems.

Potential Consequences of Ransomware

Ransomware can cause severe damage to an organization’s systems, including disruption of operations, loss of sensitive data, and financial losses due to ransom payments. Additionally, it can lead to reputational damage if confidential information is exposed or stolen.

How To Avoid Ransomware with the Help of IT Support

Having an IT Support team on hand can help you avoid ransomware attacks. They should be able to provide guidance and training for employees on how to spot suspicious emails, identify malicious links and websites, and understand the dangers of drive-by downloads. They should also have access to tools that can detect and block malicious software and security solutions that can prevent attacks.

Additionally, they should be able to develop policies and procedures for backing up data regularly to reduce the impact of a ransomware attack. With the help of an IT support team, you can make sure that your business is not vulnerable to ransomware attacks.

Insider Threats

Insider threats are malicious activities or data breaches from within an organization, such as employees, contractors, or vendors. They can range from stealing confidential information to sabotaging systems and networks.

Most Common Insider Threat Tactics

The most common insider threat tactics include:

  • Social Engineering: Manipulating people into revealing confidential information.
  • Unauthorized Access: Gaining access to systems without proper authorization.
  • Privilege Abuse: Misusing privileges or permissions for malicious purposes.
  • Data Theft/Misuse: Stealing or misusing confidential data.
  • Sabotage & Destruction of Data: Corrupting, corrupting, destroying, or deleting data.

Potential Consequences of Insider Threats

When an insider engages in malicious activities, the consequences can be far-reaching. These include damage to the organization’s reputation, financial losses, and legal or regulatory implications.

How To Avoid Insider Threats with the Help of IT Support

Having an IT Support team on hand can help you minimize the risk of insider threats. They should be able to provide guidance and training for employees on how to recognize suspicious behavior and understand the risks associated with data misuse or theft.

Additionally, they should have processes to monitor user activity, detect patterns of unauthorized access, and quickly respond to suspicious activities. They should also be able to ensure that all systems are secure by installing the latest updates and patches available. Finally, they can help you create a security awareness culture so that everyone knows the risks associated with insider threats.

Social Engineering

Social engineering attacks are attempts to manipulate people into divulging confidential information. They can range from pretexting and baiting to phishing, vishing, and smishing.

Most Common Social Engineering Tactics

The most common social engineering tactics include:

  • Pretexting: Creating a false identity to acquire information from unsuspecting victims.
  • Baiting: Placing malicious links or files on public websites to entice people to click on them.
  • Phishing: Sending emails that appear to be from legitimate sources to trick recipients into revealing sensitive information.
  • Vishing: Using a phone call or voicemail message to obtain confidential information.
  • Smishing: Sending text messages or SMS with malicious links or attachments.

Potential Consequences of Social Engineering Attacks

Social engineering attacks are often difficult to detect because they rely on manipulation rather than technical exploitation. They can lead to the theft of confidential information, financial losses, and damage to the organization’s reputation.

How To Avoid Social Engineering with the Help of IT Support

An IT Support team can help reduce the risks associated with social engineering attacks. They should be able to provide guidance and training for employees on how to recognize suspicious emails, links, or phone calls.

Additionally, they can help you set up effective authentication measures that make it more difficult for attackers to gain access to confidential information. Finally, they should be able to provide regular security audits and testing of your systems to detect any potential unauthorized activities quickly.

SQL Injection

SQL injection is a type of attack that attempts to exploit vulnerable databases. It involves inserting malicious code into a web application to gain access to the underlying data.

Common SQL Injection Tactics

The most common SQL injection tactics include:

  • URL Parameter Tampering: Manipulating URL parameters with malicious input to gain access to the underlying databases.
  • Injection Through Forms: Insert malicious code into web forms to gain access to the underlying databases.
  • Direct Injection: Directly executing malicious code on a vulnerable database.

Potential Consequences of SQL Injection Attacks

These types of attacks can have serious consequences, including but not limited to the following:

  • Compromised Accounts: Attackers can access users’ accounts and confidential information.
  • Data Loss/Manipulation: Attackers can access, modify or delete data in the underlying database.
  • Financial Loss: Attackers could steal financial information and use it for their gain.

How To Avoid SQL Injection with the Help of IT Support

To ensure that your website or web application is secure against SQL injection, it’s crucial to implement the following security measures:

  • Enforce Strong Passwords Policies: All accounts should have strong passwords and two-factor authentication.
  • Regularly Update Your Database Software and Applications: Always keep your database software up to date with the latest patches and security updates.
  • Use Parameterized Queries: All input should be parameterized and not directly executed on the database.
  • Monitor Database Activity Logs: Monitor all activity logs for suspicious behavior.

In conclusion, it is essential to have a comprehensive understanding of SQL injection attacks, their potential consequences, and how to protect against them. With the help of IT support, you can ensure that your website or web application is secure and protected against this kind of cybersecurity data breach.


Malware is malicious software created to cause harm to computers, networks, and data. It is typically spread through email and malicious links or attachments.

Types of Malware

Malware can be divided into two main categories: viruses and worms. Viruses are designed to infect specific files, while worms spread autonomously throughout a network by exploiting vulnerabilities in operating systems. Other types of malware include trojans, spyware, ransomware, and adware.

Potential Consequences of Malware Attacks

Malware attacks can have severe consequences, including data loss, system downtime, and financial losses. They can also lead to the destruction or theft of confidential information or unauthorized access to user accounts. In addition, malware attacks can lead to the spread of other malicious software or viruses.

How To Avoid Malware with the Help of IT Support

To ensure that your system is secure against malware, it’s crucial to implement the following security measures:

  • Regularly Update Your Software and Applications: Always keep your software up to date with the latest patches and security updates.
  • Implement Antivirus Software: Install antivirus software on all computers and networks to detect known malicious software.
  • Educate Employees About Cybersecurity Best Practices: Educate employees about the potential risks of opening emails or clicking links from unknown sources.
  • Monitor Network Activity Logs: Monitor all activity logs for suspicious behavior.

In conclusion, it is crucial to comprehensively understand malware attacks, their potential consequences, and how to protect against them. With the help of IT support, you can ensure that your system is secure and protected against malicious attacks.

Physical Theft

This data breach occurs when physical devices containing confidential information are stolen. Examples include laptops, hard drives, USBs, and other portable storage devices.

Potential Consequences of Physical Theft

Dealing with the aftermath of physical theft can be costly and time-consuming. Depending on what information was stored on the stolen device, sensitive information could end up in the wrong hands, leading to identity theft, financial loss, or reputational damage. Companies may also incur hefty fines if they fail to comply with data protection regulations such as GDPR. As a result, organizations must act quickly to reduce the risk of a physical data breach.

How To Prevent Physical Theft with the Help of IT Support

To ensure that your data is secure against physical theft, it’s crucial to implement the following security measures:

  • Enforce Strict Access Policies: Establish strict access control policies that limit who can access physical devices containing confidential information.
  • Implement Physical Security Measures: Implement additional physical security measures such as locks, alarms, and motion detectors to protect data storage devices.
  • Encrypt Data: Encrypt all the data stored on physical devices to prevent unauthorized access.
  • Use Remote Wipe: Implement a remote wipe tool to erase confidential information from stolen devices.

In conclusion, physical theft is a significant security concern for organizations that store sensitive data. By implementing the proper IT security measures, you can protect your organization against physical data breaches and reduce the risk of potential damage. Seek professional IT support to ensure your data is secure against physical threats.

Denial of Service (DoS)

DoS attacks are malicious attempts to make a network or system unavailable for legitimate users. It is commonly achieved by flooding the target with too much traffic, resulting in the system becoming overloaded and unable to respond to requests.

Most Common DoS Tactics

The most common tactics used in DoS attacks include:

  • Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks: Attackers use multiple computers to overwhelm the target with a flood of traffic.
  • IP Flooding and Ping of Death Attacks: Attackers send large spoofed ICMP packets to overwhelm the target’s network bandwidth.
  • SYN Flood Attacks: Attackers send numerous SYN requests to the target’s open ports, overwhelming the server and denying legitimate users access.

Potential Consequences of DoS Attacks

DoS attacks are the most common data breach in cloud computing and it can severely impact organizations, leading to lost productivity, decreased customer satisfaction, and financial losses. It can also damage an organization’s reputation if customers become aware that the system is down due to a malicious attack.

How To Prevent DoS Attacks with the Help of IT Support

Organizations can take several steps to protect against DoS attacks. These include:

  • Implement Firewalls: Ensure that firewalls are installed and regularly updated with the latest security patches.
  • Limit Network Access: Restrict access to essential ports and limit redundant connections.
  • Enable Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS): Implement IPS to detect and block DoS attacks.
  • Install Anti-DDoS Software: Install specialized anti-DDoS software to protect against a wide range of threats.

You can reduce the risk of falling victim to a DoS attack by taking the necessary steps to secure your network and systems. Working with professional IT support can help ensure your organization is well-equipped to handle any potential cyberattacks.

Final Thoughts

These eight types of data breaches can have severe consequences for organizations. To protect against them, it’s essential to understand the risks and be proactive in implementing IT security measures. It can also be beneficial to seek professional IT support for advice on how to most effectively secure your organization and reduce the chances of a data breach. With the proper preventative measures in place, you can ensure that your organization is secure against data breaches and the damage they could cause.