The top 5 ways data breaches occur
Are companies too reckless with customer data?
Nearly a third of businesses are being reckless with customer data, according to a new study.
A poll of 1,000 American business professionals and software developers found 29% use unprotected production data (aka real customer data) in testing environments when testing and troubleshooting their company’s software — increasing the risk of exposure in the event of a data breach.
Nearly half (45%) of respondents said their companies have faced a major data breach within the past five years due in part to the use of data in insecure environments.
Sectors hit the hardest by data breaches in the past five years are financial services (60%), construction (57%), education (54%), food and beverage (53%) and law practices (53%).
According to respondents, data breaches occur most often as a result of internal theft (34%), accidental leaks (27%) and hacking incidents (24%) — all of which can take companies an average of four weeks to recover.
Data breaches open a Pandora’s box of risks for companies that experience them: respondents said their businesses came face-to-face with insurance premium increases (28%), civil lawsuits (27%), regulatory fines (22%) and media embarrassment (21%).
A majority of those who previously faced a data breach (88%) said it caused delays in the company’s ability to function.
Commissioned by Tonic.ai and conducted by OnePoll, the study found 74% use sensitive customer data every day for multiple purposes.
Industries found to use sensitive customer data the most were in education (83%), financial services (82%), food and beverage (80%) and construction (79%).
Seven in 10 (71%) said being hacked is a major concern at their company — a prime reason for 75% of businesses to make sure customer data security is a “top priority.”
"With the rising popularity of remote work, increased data breaches and leaks are inevitable. Whether it be stolen work laptops, using real customer data in testing, or the incorrect cloud migration of data, there are a myriad of reasons why a breach can happen," said Ian Coe, CEO of Tonic.ai. "What's important to understand is that while a breach may happen, there are ways to safeguard the data to ensure companies are not putting their customers' information at risk."
The survey revealed one way to avoid customer data breaches is to monitor and protect the data businesses use in software testing environments.
On a promising note, the study also found that 50% of businesses use data that has been de-identified or synthesized to look like customer data, in testing environments.
Three in four businesses even said they feel “ready and prepared” to deal with future data breach threats.
Seven in 10 believe it’s “necessary” to use synthetic data to keep customer data safe.
Many respondents considered their test data practices to be broken. Forty-two percent claimed their practices either aren’t secure or they don’t scale. Meanwhile, 20% said it’s difficult to generate and use their test data.
Nearly two in three (64%) don’t understand the reasons behind using synthetic data for testing.
"Fake data is designed to respect and protect the privacy of real customer data. Companies should be responsible about their data governance and being compliant when it comes to things like personal identifiable information," said Coe.
TOP 5 WAYS DATA BREACHES HAPPEN
- Internal theft - 34%
- Accidental data leak - 27%
- Hacking attack - 24%
- Malware - 9%
- Ransomware - 4%
Stories and infographics by ‘Talker Research’ are available to download & ready to use. Stories and videos by ‘Talker News’ are managed by SWNS. To license content for editorial or commercial use and to see the full scope of SWNS content, please email [email protected] or submit an inquiry via our contact form.
Hidden test content
Ballet teacher recreates iconic dance routines from movies
“I hope to inspire some guys to dance."
Global population could peak below 9 billion within 30 years
The analysis uses 10 world regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa, China and the United States.
Future vaccines could be delivered by a gentle puff of air
Scientists say the medicine being pushed through the skin, with just a little pressure, feels like being "hit with a...
Snacking on walnuts could help prevent heart disease
Cardiovascular disease is the world's number one killer – claiming around 18 million lives a year.
- Work5 days ago
What are the top employee benefits in 2023?
- Pets7 days ago
Half of pet owners consider getting a tattoo of their furry friends: poll
- Health3 days ago
Women reveal reasons why they don’t exercise enough
- Fashion & Beauty1 week ago
Cold weather has major impact on women’s confidence and mood: poll
- Food & Drink1 week ago
Why is hosting dinner at home more stressful than catching a flight?
- Lifestyle6 days ago
Senior got Magic Mike-themed birthday party for her last hoorah
- Animals6 days ago
Australia has discovered another giant spider
- Climate Change7 days ago
How Americans are taking steps toward becoming more sustainable