Widespread connectivity is hallmark of modern communication systems due to proliferation of internet enabled phones and other devices including tablets, laptops, and even wearable gadgets. It is not difficult to understand reasons behind extensive data breaches that have become commonplace due to online availability of personal information.

Understanding the gravity of data breach

Data breach can be loosely defined as an unauthorized access to confidential or sensitive data by cyber criminals with an aim to hack vital information such as personal health records, passwords, credit card details, and any other form of mission critical information. 

Data breaches have been experienced with greater frequency as well as intensity of attacks. These attacks are aimed at stealing important information and can be attributed to preplanned hacking attempts, internet exposure, or employee related hacking or security flaws. 

There have been multiple instances of hacking and one of the most noteworthy data breaches is considered to be 2013 Target hack that resulted in theft of millions of credentials pertaining to customers of the retail store. In addition to this, one can list myriad of hacks that were aimed at number of retail stores.

The data breach resulted in Target being directed by court to settle loss of credit cards of all customers, which paved way for many such lawsuits that fixed accountability of damages on retailers. 

Cyber criminals have been constantly targeting IRS for laying their hands on thousands of taxpayers’ information. These also lead many experts to predict that the government’s data storage resources were going to experience many such attacks due to presence of highly sensitive information. 

In addition to retail stores and government departments, hackers have not spared educational institutes including University of Florida hacking attempt that could allow access to thousands of personal credentials such as social security numbers that belonged to students. 

Attempts to thwart data breach

It only goes to prove that hackers will strike any place that is home to important data. Data breach can have serious consequences in retail industry because the store is bound to lose significant volumes of customers that can be as high as 65 percent.

In order to deal effectively with increasing events of data breaches, many retailers have switched over to chip operated credit cards instead of traditional cards that need to be swiped. These clients have also implemented cutting edge payment facilities through Google Wallet or Apple pay. 

With greater sophistication of hacking, it is very difficult to thwart hacking attempts by a large number of cyber criminals who often go unnoticed. Adoption of proprietary technology has resulted in higher chances of data breach. Security stalwarts have observed that a robust cryptographic protection can be achieved by using NFC or RFID.

Inexplicable complacency of consumers

There is growing concern about acceptance of data breach as a new norm in modern economy that is driven by digital resources such as smart phones and online payment facilities. In spite of the growth in number of hacking attempts, a large portion of consumers is found to be developing a certain level of comfort with such data theft. This can be explained by considering the following background.

It is a human tendency to undermine effect of any disaster with a self-assurance that the catastrophe may not strike them at all. There is also a certain level of security fatigue experienced by consumers since more than 30 percent consumers neglect notices regarding data breaches. Almost equal volume of consumers hardly initiates any action to safeguard their data from possibility of data breaches.

Consumers seek greater privacy and security but are reluctant to implement security systems including Virtual Private Networks for enhancement of privacy and protection. No security measures can be effective if the enterprises individual security is compromised due to absence of robust protection systems or lack of fundamental security software.

This has resulted in resigned acceptance of data breach as part of life. This can lead to serious implications because these consumers will also refrain from reporting security related flaws. Due to ignorance about presence of loopholes in security, companies will not be able to block these flaws and cyber criminals will be able to go on a hacking spree.

It is therefore essential to pay serious attention to incidences of security related events in order to prevent widespread data breach.