Episode #5: What is a Data Leak?
Data leaks are almost a daily occurrence so it's important to understand what risks that poses to you. In this episode we ask our AI friend to explain data leaks, their impact and some emerging threats that could occur...
Episode #5: What is a Data Leak?
What is a Data Leak?
A data leak is the unauthorized release or exposure of sensitive, confidential, or protected data. Data leaks can occur due to a variety of factors, such as cyber attacks, human error, software vulnerabilities, or inadequate data protection measures.
Data leaks can have serious consequences, depending on the type and sensitivity of the data that is leaked. For individuals, data leaks can lead to identity theft, financial fraud, and other types of personal harm. For businesses, data leaks can lead to financial losses, reputational damage, and legal consequences.
I saw on the news that a social media company had a data leak. As an individual, what is the risk to me?
If you are an individual and a social media company has experienced a data leak, your personal data may be at risk. Depending on the specific details of the data leak, your personal information, such as your name, address, phone number, email address, and other identifying information, may have been exposed.
If your personal data has been exposed in a data leak, you may be at risk for identity theft, financial fraud, and other types of personal harm. It is important to be aware of the risks and to take steps to protect yourself if you think your personal data may have been exposed in a data leak.
To protect yourself, you may want to consider taking the following steps:
Monitor your accounts and credit reports for any suspicious activity
Change your passwords on the affected social media platform, as well as on any other accounts where you use the same password
Enable two-factor authentication on your accounts, if available
Consider freezing your credit to prevent unauthorized access to your credit reports
Be cautious of any unsolicited emails or phone calls, as they may be scams related to the data leak.
By taking these steps, you can help protect yourself from the risks associated with a data leak.
How can I find out if my personal information has been in a data leak?
If you are concerned that your personal data may have been exposed in a data leak, there are a few steps you can take to find out if your personal information has been affected:
Check the news: If a data leak has occurred, it is likely that it will be reported in the news. Search online for news articles about the data leak and see if your personal information may have been exposed.
Check with the affected company: If a specific company has experienced a data leak, it may have provided information about the scope of the data leak and whether your personal data has been affected. Contact the company directly to see if they have any information about the data leak and whether your personal data has been exposed.
Use a data leak checker: There are online tools that can help you determine if your personal data has been exposed in a data leak. These tools work by searching public databases of data leaks to see if your personal information has been included.
By taking these steps, you may be able to find out if your personal data has been exposed in a data leak. If you do find out that your personal data has been affected, it is important to take steps to protect yourself from the risks associated with a data leak, such as identity theft and financial fraud.
We've talked about the cyber attack chain before. At what stage of the attack chain can a data leak occur?
A data leak can occur at any stage of the cyber attack chain, depending on the specific tactics and goals of the attacker. For example, a data leak may occur if an attacker successfully exploits a vulnerability and exfiltrates sensitive data, or if an insider intentionally or unintentionally releases sensitive data. By understanding the cyber attack chain, you can take steps to protect yourself and your organization from data leaks and other types of cyber attacks.
Can you give some examples of accidental data leaks and how the company corrected the issue?
Here are a few examples of accidental data leaks and how the companies involved addressed the issue:
Marriott International: In 2018, Marriott International announced that hackers had accessed the reservation system of its subsidiary, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, and had gained access to the reservation database for over 500 million guests. The company notified affected guests and offered free identity monitoring services to those whose personal data had been exposed.
eBay: In 2014, eBay announced that a cyber attack had resulted in the exposure of the personal data of 145 million users, including names, addresses, and date of birth. The company notified affected users and recommended that they change their passwords.
Yahoo: In 2013 and 2014, Yahoo announced two separate data breaches that exposed the personal data of all 3 billion of its users. The company notified affected users and provided them with information about steps they could take to protect themselves.
In each of these cases, the companies involved took steps to notify affected individuals and provide them with information about how to protect themselves from the risks associated with a data leak. These steps can include things like changing passwords, enabling two-factor authentication, and monitoring for signs of identity theft or financial fraud.
Are there security measures I can use to protect my information in case an attacker gained access to my computer?
There are many different security tools and measures that you can use to protect your personal information in the event that an attacker gains access to your computer.
Encryption is a security method that involves converting data into a code that can only be read by someone with the correct decryption key. You can use encryption to protect your sensitive data, such as financial information or personal documents, from being accessed by unauthorized individuals.
By using encryption and other security tools or measures, you can help protect your personal information from being accessed by cyber criminals in the event that an attacker gains access to your computer.
So, encryption can help protect my data at rest? Are there other properties of data protection?
Yes, encryption is an effective way to protect your data at rest, meaning it can help protect your data when it is stored on your computer or other device. Data can have different properties depending on how it is being used or stored. Some common properties of data include:
Data at rest: Data at rest refers to data that is stored on a device, such as a computer or hard drive. This data is not currently in use and is not being transmitted over a network.
Data in use: Data in use refers to data that is actively being accessed or processed by a device, such as when you are reading an email or editing a document.
Data in transit: Data in transit refers to data that is being transmitted over a network, such as the internet. This data is usually in the form of electronic communications, such as emails or file transfers.
Understanding the different properties of data can help you determine the appropriate security measures to take to protect it. For example, data at rest may require different security measures than data in transit, as the latter may be more vulnerable to interception or interception while being transmitted over a network.
So, if I was to send financial documents to my bank over email, how should I protect that information?
There are a few different measures you can take to help protect financial documents when sending them over email:
Use encryption: Encrypting your financial documents before sending them over email can help protect them from being accessed by unauthorized individuals. There are several ways you can encrypt email, including using a secure email service or installing encryption software on your computer.
Use a secure file transfer service: Instead of sending your financial documents over email, you can use a secure file transfer service to send them. These services use encryption to protect your data and often have additional security measures in place to protect against data breaches.
Verify the recipient's identity: Before sending your financial documents over email, make sure you are sending them to the correct recipient. You can verify the recipient's identity by contacting them directly or through a secure method of communication.
By following these and other security measures, you can help protect your financial documents when sending them over email.
I'm about to pay the deposit for a house and my real estate agent has emailed me an account number to send the money to. Is it safe to send the deposit?
When sending a large sum of money, it is important to ensure that you are sending it to a trustworthy recipient and that the money will be used for its intended purpose. Here are a few things you can do to help protect yourself:
Verify the recipient's identity: Make sure you are sending the money to the correct recipient. You can verify the recipient's identity by contacting them directly or through a secure method of communication.
Use a secure payment method: Consider using a secure payment method, such as a secure online payment platform or a wire transfer through your bank, to help protect your financial information.
Keep records: Keep records of the payment, including the recipient's name and account information, as well as any receipts or confirmation emails.
It is important to be aware that there are always risks involved when sending money online, and you should be cautious and vigilant in order to minimize those risks.
Nice chat as always! Before I go, what do you think is an emerging threat in the world of cyber security?
There are many emerging threats in the world of cyber security, and the landscape is constantly evolving as new technologies are developed and new tactics are used by cybercriminals. Some of the emerging threats that are currently of concern include:
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning: As AI and machine learning become more advanced, there is a risk that they could be used to automate cyber attacks and make them more difficult to detect and defend against.
Internet of Things (IoT) devices: The increasing number of connected devices, such as smart home devices and wearable technology, presents a new frontier for cyber attacks. These devices may not have the same level of security as traditional computers, making them vulnerable to compromise.
Cryptocurrency attacks: The increasing popularity of cryptocurrency has led to a rise in cyber attacks targeting these assets.
Supply chain attacks: Cybercriminals may target the supply chain of a company or organization, compromising systems and data at the source.
Deepfakes: The use of deepfake technology, which can generate realistic-looking video and audio, could be used to spread misinformation and cause confusion or harm.
It is important for individuals and organizations to stay informed about emerging threats and take steps to protect themselves and their systems.