Data Leak - What is it, Prevention and Solutions

What is a Data Leak?

Information is power, it always has been. Wars have been won and lost based on intel gained and lost. Physical information and data are what led to the invention of espionage and spies. Over the years, as with everything else, information has shifted to the digital space too. Now, most sensitive data is encrypted and stored either on a remote database or on a cloud, either way, accessible through computers.

What are data leaks?

A data leak can be described as the exposure of sensitive data to third parties. It can be on the internet or even through physical hard drives and computer systems. It leads to a situation where a cybercriminal can gain unrestricted access to the said sensitive data.

Data leaks and data breaches are used interchangeably but they do differ. While data leaks refer to the mere exposure of data, data breaches are a term for a successful attack on data. A data leak can occur without the involvement of any third party due to issues such as negligence and mismanagement. Data breach on the other hand requires an active cybercriminal or hacker.

Companies engage in building their cyber security to avoid such leak of sensitive data. Data leakage can be a serious issue for companies and therefore data leakage prevention is given a high priority.

Why Causes a Data Leak?

We need to step back and recognize how information is produced, manipulated, and used in order to understand why data leaks happen. These days it's almost an inevitable conclusion that huge sets of sensitive data exist and companies are using them.

When we examine information security, it becomes clear that organizing a resilient process is difficult at scale. Operational gaps, process errors, and poor cybersecurity awareness can lead to vulnerable assets which lead to data leaks.

The pros and cons of digital data are moreover one and the same. Digital data can be reproduced at a cheap rate and without much degradation. Organizations have many copies of production data that including customer data, trade secrets, and other sensitive information. Data loss prevention (DLP) tools, warehousing, disaster recovery, development and testing environments, analytics services, and the laptops your employees take home could all house copies of your and your customer's most sensitive data.

At the point when you process information, it's actually moving through a chain of care. It very well may be basically as basic as your head to your PC or as mind-boggling as moving through numerous cloud administrations across different topographies.

The vital thing to comprehend is that the unfortunate application of security and network protection measures in any piece of the chain of care can cause an information spill. To this end, outsiders gamble on the board, and merchant risk the executives are central to any business. It's at this point, not simply protection project workers and monetary administrations organizations who need to stress over information security. It's everybody.

Digitization is on a very basic level changing business and the repercussions are influencing private ventures and enormous multinationals the same. While you may not be occupied with information, you actually create a great deal of it. Regardless of whether you're selling actual merchandise like vehicles or offering support like medical services, odds are good that you are creating, handling and in any event, re-appropriating information someplace.

And keeping in mind that your business might have security devices and malware assurance, assuming the outsiders that are handling your information don't your information may as yet be uncovered 

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Types of Data Leak

Internal and External data leak

Those working inside an association are a critical reason for information breaks. The idea of a believed climate is fairly liquid. The takeoff of a believed staff part with admittance to delicate data can turn into an information break assuming the staff part holds admittance to the information after the end of the trust relationship. Estimates of breaches caused by accidental "human factor" errors are around 20% to the Verizon 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report.

The outside danger/threats classification includes programmers, cybercriminal associations, and state-supported entertainers. Proficient relationship for IT resource directors work forcefully with IT experts to instruct them on best risk reduction practices for both internal and external dangers to IT resources, programming and data. While security avoidance might redirect a high level of endeavors, at last, the aroused assailants will probably track down away into some random organization. 


If your product, equipment, servers, or working frameworks contain security blemishes, cybercriminals can utilize them to send malware. It includes sending malignant programming into an association's organization and making simple admittance to your organization to take crucial data. The assailants accomplish this by tricking your representatives into opening malware connections or diverting them too weak locales.

Physical Data Theft

Assuming your building is dangerous or unreliable, hackers can work their way into your organization to access your system They can truly take gadgets like PCs, tablets, hard drives, cell phones, CDs, DVDs, work areas, or thumb drives. The seriousness of an information break will rely upon the idea of the data put away in the gadgets.

Weak Credentials

Hacking is the most well-known reason for security breaks, and it primarily works out assuming you have weak passwords. The hackers have a few programming instruments that they can use to figure out your credentials. Such creations have made it conceivable to manage every one of the potential outcomes of your secret word quicker. In the event that you have a basic entire word secret key, it could require a few moments until they take care of business. You are additionally entirely powerless on the off chance that you utilize similar credentials for quite some time.

Applications Vulnerabilities

Obsolete programming, inadequately planned or carried out network frameworks gives cybercriminals a free pass into your organization's sensitive data.

User Error

In some cases, workers could commit errors that can think twice about the organization's security. One illustration of such slip-ups is remembering some unacceptable individual for a Cc email field while joining sensitive records.

Others could leave records online without secret word limitations. Also, while representatives carry their cell phones to work, they can without much of a stretch download malware-loaded applications giving programmers admittance to business-related messages or by personally identifiable information (PII) stored in the gadget.

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Social Engineering

Cybercriminals utilize social design assaults to trick staff into causing an information break. They mimic a reliable element to persuade associations to surrender touchy information.

Large Number of Permissions

Assuming you neglect to keep a tight rule of who ought to get to your business information, there is generally an opportunity that somebody might attempt to abuse the data. Recall that it very well may be exceptionally enticing to offer information on the dull web because of the great monetary profits. You could give some unacceptable individuals access approval or permit obsolete consents for programmers to take advantage of. For example, the individuals who have left your association yet at the same time approach your frameworks can think twice about the organization's security.

Consequences of data leak

Although such incidents pose the risk of identity theft or other serious consequences, most of the time there is no enduring harm; either the break-in security is helped before the data is gotten to by corrupt individuals, or the criminal is keen on the equipment taken, as opposed to the information it contains. All things considered, when such occurrences become freely known, it is standard for the culpable party to endeavor to relieve harm by giving the casualty's membership to a credit announcing organization, for example, new charge cards, or different instruments.

☀ Monetary Loss

Perhaps the quickest outcomes of a data leak are a monetary loss. In view of the leak's temperament, organizations might need to remunerate the impacted client or pay lawful expenses. You could likewise spend more cash exploring the matter, putting resources into new safety efforts, or in any event, suffering consequences for resistance.

☀ Reputation Damage

News travels exceptionally quickly in this day and age, and the people who could never have known about your image are probably going to know about a security break in the briefest time conceivable. In the event that the episode seriously jeopardizes clients' information, they might lose trust in your organization. Individuals' impressions of your organization will change, and it can affect your capacity to draw in new clients or representatives. More terrible still, these clients could decide to go to a contender who treats security gives more in a serious way.

☀ Functional Disruptions

At the point when a security break occurs, it vigorously upsets business exercises. You could need to close down tasks totally to explore the issue until you track down an answer. Contingent upon the seriousness of the case, examinations can require days or even months. It will subsequently influence your organization's efficiency.

☀ Loss of Sensitive data

On the off chance that the information break brings about the deficiency of touchy information, it could prompt additional overwhelming outcomes. For example, assuming that you lose a patient's clinical records, can influence their circumstances putting their life in extreme danger. Once more, uncovering profoundly classified government data can represent a critical danger to the public authority and its residents.

Lawful Ramifications of data leak

As an organization, the law requires you generally to safeguard individual information. If there should arise an occurrence of a break, regardless of whether purposeful, you might confront lawful activities. Sometimes, the specialists might even banish you from playing out certain activities. Legal claims might prompt heavy punishments, which might be excessively high for the organization to bear.

Credit card fraud:

Cyber lawbreakers can take advantage of spilled Mastercard data to submit Visa extortion.

Underground market deals:

Once the information is uncovered, it can be sold on the dark web. Numerous digital lawbreakers work in observing unstable cloud examples and weak data sets that contain Mastercard numbers, government-managed retirement numbers, and other actually recognizable data (PII) to sell on for personality extortion, spam, or phishing tasks. It very well may be all around as straightforward as involving search inquiries in Google.


Sometimes data is held over an organization's head for delivery or to cause reputational harm.

Corrupting upper hands:

Competitors might exploit information spills. Everything from your client records to exchange insider facts give your rivals admittance to your assets and technique. This could be essentially as basic as what your showcasing group is chipping away at or complex calculated tasks.

Data Leak Exploitation

Four well-known ways that information spills are taken advantage of are:

☀ Social designing

The best friendly designing activities are known as spearphishing. This is the point at which a digital lawbreaker sends a designated counterfeit email in view of known data to all the more likely to imitate a power figure or leader. Enable the use of data against an objective they generally wouldn't be aware of.

☀ Doxxing

Actually, recognizable data (PII) can be utilized for more than Mastercard extortion. Doxxing is an act of procuring and distributing an individual's data without wanting to. Doxxing is performed for an assortment of reasons. In instances of political fanaticism, grudges, provocation or following, uncovered PII can actually hurt genuine individuals.

☀ Observation and Intelligence

Psychographic information has many purposes. Its very intention is to foresee and shape sentiments. Political missions use it to win votes and organizations use it to win clients.

☀ Disturbance

Information gaps can be utilized to slow or stop business activities and can present delicate data to the general population. Data uncovered in an information break can have exceptional ramifications for government, organizations, and people.

Data Leak Prevention

The most effective way to avoid information breaks is via preparing your employees for information security rules. Tell them the best way to recognize potential information security leaks and adopt a procedure to recover, send, handle and discard the information. You additionally need to show them the need to have difficult passwords and caution them against recording or keeping in touch with them in areas where others can access them.

Additionally, consistently update your working frameworks and application programming. Further, use firewalls, anti-spyware and anti-virus software tools to protect data from getting into the wrong hands.

Limit admittance to the most vital company details. On the off chance that representatives can get to all documents through their PCs, it's simple for hackers to get to significant data. For example, sorting room representatives shouldn't get to clients' monetary details. You can likewise isolate client records to control the number of representatives who can utilize a particular data set. Further, limit authoritative admittance to those entrusted to perform specific obligations.

On the off chance that you are uncertain about how to foresee an information leak, you can recruit a specialist or a tech organization offering comparable supervision. Along these lines, you need to stress over no conditions that you might have left accidentally. Moreover, in the event that you need more specialized staff, a managed IT administrations supplier can remotely screen your frameworks nonstop.


With data analytics has grown so much over the last few years with the arrival of big data, it becomes crucial to protect your own sensitive data. Having another party’s data can be a huge insight for anyone with the amount of analytics available now. Pursuing a career in cyber security is a very good option as more and more companies are shifting to the digital space every year. Companies look for professionals who know what to do after a data breach.

Also, they must be apt at its prevention. You need to be an expert in data leakage prevention technology and data leakage protection solutions. For this purpose, it is very important to do a course. Taking the help of a reputed training body like Sprintzeal will enhance your data leakage detection and prevention skills. It will also leave you well-versed with data leakage prevention tools. Join Sprintzeal today!

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