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How to Recognize a Data Breach at an Early Stage?

How to Recognize a Data Breach at an Early Stage?

A data breach is one of the most troublesome and frightening things for businesses. Organizations should be aware of data breaches and make sure to be able to prevent and identify them at the early stages to limit the amount of data exposure. The impact of a data breach on a company reflects upon its finance, image, its clients, and work. That is why data security and privacy are so important. Nowadays, the risk of a data breach is very high, and almost every business can face it.

The problem of data breaches is always connected to data security and different data protection laws and regulations. If a company has a data breach, it means that there will be large fines and their work will stop until all consequences are resolved. In addition, there is a possibility of clients’ trust loss that negatively impacts the image of a company. All of these are hard to pick back up.

What Is a Data Breach?

To minimize all the risks, companies should understand how to recognize a data breach in the early going. But first of all, you need to know what exactly it is. A data breach is a loss of confidential, sensitive, or private information due to unauthorized access by cybercriminals or internal leakage (intentional or not).

In 2022 the average cost of a data breach in the world was 4.35M$. The IBM report states that the average time to detect a data breach is about 9 months (277 days). The less time it takes you to identify a data breach, the more money you will save and limit the negative impact on your business. For this, we compile some red flags that can help you identify a data breach early.

How to Identify a Data Breach?

1. Unusual login activities

Almost all employees have their working activity pattern. This pattern can be especially clearly seen at such moments as when and where the user works. If you have activity monitoring reports, you can see what actions are typical for different users, do they work with sensitive data and how, and what privileges they have. If you see anything unusual in users’ actions, this is a red flag to look out for. Draw attention to unusual login time; frequent unsuccessful login attempts; new unusual IP addresses; different login attempts from different machines; different unusual locations.

All these actions can signal a data breach, especially, when all of these actions come from a user with privileged access. If such an account is at risk, it can damage the entire security system because of the huge amount of access to data and the wide area of allowable actions.

2. File changes

When there are intruders in the database or system, they will probably try to do something with the necessary and critical files. If you notice something unusual with such files, you should pay attention to them and check every account that was working with them. There may be a bad actor who is preparing to leak and hack the data.

3. Slow performance

Slow network or device performance can be caused by malware. Slow network traffic is a signal of an ongoing data breach. The reason is that some types of malware can try to send sensitive information outside or download more harmful malware. In this case, you need to find out the cause of slow performance by working with your IT and security department.

4. Locked accounts

If a user can not log in to an account and is sure that the credentials are correct, it means that the bad actor is already using this account and has changed login credentials. In this case, users should immediately notify IT and security departments to block access of this account to critical and sensitive data and change the password.

To prevent such situations, companies should always use two or multifactor authentication. This will provide an additional protection layer to accounts with access to sensitive data and others.

5. Audit ready

Data protection laws and regulations were created for a reason. If you are not sure that you are ready for a compliance audit, that you can provide auditors with a report of where your sensitive data resides, who can access it, and how this data is protected, that’s a bad sign. If you can not provide this information, it means that you do not know what is going on in your system and database. Then, you are not compliant and all your data is at a huge risk of data breach and leakage.

How DataSunrise Can Help You

There are a lot of ways to recognize a data breach. Here we described some of the factors of which you should be aware to save your business from a big disaster.

To protect sensitive data and stay in compliance with different data regulations, companies should implement strong and comprehensive security measures. DataSunrise protects your sensitive data and databases everywhere. Using DataSunrise you will be able to detect data breaches due to Activity Monitoring, Database Firewall, Vulnerability Assessment, and Compliance Manager. It will provide you with statistics and analytics, reports and alerts about unusual user behavior. You will be able to detect any suspicious activity and recognize the first steps of a data breach and prevent it. Be sure that your sensitive data is under control. Try it now.


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