The 6 Most Common Causes of Data Breaches

Everybody uses the internet nowadays, but the majority of people tend not to worry too much about their cybersecurity or take the steps needed to protect their information going around online. However, cybersecurity is something that all organizations have to worry about, even those outside of the technology and security sector. Even staffing agencies are vulnerable to having their information breached, whether it is their agency’s data or the personal information of their clients.

Data breaches do occur, more often than some people realize. Furthermore, most of the time, organizations are unable to detect the data breaches as they occur and by the time it comes to light, it’s too late and the breach is already completed. These data breaches tend to take organizations by surprise, making this a huge security concern for them.

One way to approach this issue is for organizations to utilize their resources and educate themselves about data breaches, and more specifically how they are caused. By learning more about the causes, organizations will better be able to recognize signs of a data breach before it happens and be less susceptible to succumbing to this cybersecurity issue, via the Verizon 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report.

There are numerous causes of data breaches, but the following are noted as the most common causes amongst data breaches:

  • 11% of data breaches occur because of physical actions, which includes theft of devices, including laptops and paperwork. This happens often with people who work outside of a regular office setting and are often on the go, taking their devices and paperwork with them anywhere they decide to work, whether it be at a coffee shop or a library. This leaves an opportunity for theft if an individual doesn’t keep a close eye on their belongings.
  • 12% of data breaches are caused by privilege misuse, meaning that an employee of the company themselves misuses or mishandles information or documents to them, whether it be intentional or unintentional.
  • 17% of data breaches are caused by social engineering, where the theft acts as if they are part of the company they are trying to breach data from. This can be done through what is called “phishing” where these cyber thefts put together emails that look real but in fact are not and are used to breach data. Financial pretexting is another form of social engineering, where the cyber theft contacts their victims not only through email but also directly over the phone, requesting their financial information.
  • Another 17% of data breaches are caused by human error, which is not malicious in nature. This often happens by mistake of an employee sending information to the wrong person.
  • 30% of data breaches occur due to malware, which works by scanning devices and collecting sensitive information. An example of this is RAM scrapers, which are often found in POS systems, which many food/customer service workers are familiar with.
  • Lastly, a whopping 48% of all data breaches are solely caused by criminal hacking, which is what most people expect when they think about data breaching. This criminal hacking includes computer coding, which is what the majority of people think of as “hacking”, as well as stolen credentials, which doesn’t require any type of technological knowledge to do. Login credentials can often be found on the dark web as well.

Every business, large or small, has the potential to be affected by data breaches and cyber attacks. For staffing agencies, protecting themselves with Staffing Security & Privacy Liability Insurance is how they will cover any losses from a breach of agency or client information.


About World Wide Specialty Programs

For the last 50 years, World Wide Specialty Programs has dedicated itself to providing the optimal products and solutions for the staffing industry. As the only insurance firm to be an ASA commercial liability partner, we are committed to that partnership and committed to using our knowledge of the industry to provide staffing firms with the best possible coverage. For more information about Staffing Professional Liability Insurance or any other coverage, we have available to protect your staffing business, give us a call at (800) 245-9653 to speak with one of our representatives.