What Are the Most Common Causes of Data Breaches?

April 21st, 2023

Blog, Data Security

In the modern era, where everything has gone digital, engaging in proper data security measures is important for protecting against data breaches — especially for healthcare organizations that store large amounts of sensitive patient information. For that reason, recognizing the potential reasons for data breaches is essential. To protect your business, here is an overview of three of the most common causes of data breaches.

Stolen Logins

While companies might be afraid of a malicious individual’s hacking prowess, it’s sometimes the simple problems that pose bigger security threats to their data. For example, lost and stolen credentials are among the most common causes of data breaches, as passwords and login information that falls into the wrong hands can be easily exploited. In fact, a large percentage of hacks in 2012 — four out of five — were because of lost credentials.

It’s also worth noting that weak credentials are also exploitable. Simply listing off numbers or making an overly simplistic password will make a business an easier target for nefarious individuals. Also, using the same password for multiple accounts and never changing them also makes it a leading cause of data breaches. As a result, teaching employees best practices for data security will help lower the chances that your company is struck with a breach because of a simple password problem.

Software Vulnerability

Some hackers don’t have to do anything at all to access a company’s sensitive data — any improperly designed networks and poorly written software are easy entryways to your company’s valuable information. Software vulnerabilities are one of the most common causes of data breaches for these reasons and more. Some of these vulnerabilities go unnoticed and unfixed for long periods of time, leaving data exposed for others to take.

Therefore, it’s important to look for exploits in your company’s system before someone else does and then patch them up. Additionally, it’s also worthwhile to update your company’s data security so that your sensitive information isn’t protected by an outdated system.


Malware is a regular threat to businesses’ cybersecurity and one of the most common causes of data breaches. Defined as malicious software, malware gives hackers access to a company’s system after it has been put onto a computer.

While some examples of malware might appear minor, the large variety and diversity of them can be a serious problem. Another reason why malware is among the most common causes of data breaches is because it can take many different forms, such as ransomware, which holds a system hostage in exchange for money. Many of these differences occur because of the changes that hackers make to the malware software — by making it appear different from antivirus programs, they can bypass systems more easily.

To Protect Your Company’s Information, Schedule Our Data Destruction Services Today

Because many leading causes of data breaches involve passwords and private information, ensuring that hackers cannot access them is of utmost importance. With our certified data destruction services, you can make certain that sensitive information on old hardware is no longer accessible to nefarious individuals. 

Additionally, Keystone Technology Management is also a certified E-Waste recycling center for your unused and outdated tech equipment. 

For more information on the importance of data destruction for your organization’s security and to schedule a service, contact us today.