What Type of Information Is the Most Frequently Exposed in a Data Breach?


Angela Bailey

Data breaches have become an all too common occurrence in today’s digital age. Cybercriminals are constantly Targeting organizations to gain unauthorized access to sensitive information.

But what type of information is the most frequently exposed in a data breach? Let’s dive deeper into this alarming issue.

Personal Identifiable Information (PII)

Personal Identifiable Information (PII) is one of the most sought-after types of data for cybercriminals. PII includes any information that can be used to identify an individual, such as:

  • Name: The full name of an individual is often stored and exposed in data breaches.
  • Email Address: Email addresses are widely used for communication and can be a valuable asset for cybercriminals.
  • Phone Number: Contact numbers are frequently stored in databases and can be utilized for various malicious activities.
  • Social Security Number (SSN): The exposure of SSNs can lead to identity theft, making it a prime Target for hackers.
  • Date of Birth: Birthdays are often used as a means of verification and can be exploited by cybercriminals to gain unauthorized access.

Financial Information

Financial information is another valuable asset for hackers. This category includes:

  • Credit Card Numbers: Breached credit card numbers can result in fraudulent transactions and financial loss for individuals.
  • Bank Account Details: Access to bank account details allows cybercriminals to perform unauthorized transactions or even drain the victim’s funds.
  • Payment Card Information: Payment card information, such as cardholder names and card verification codes, can be exploited for fraudulent purposes.

Credentials and Passwords

User credentials and passwords are highly sought after by cybercriminals. Once obtained, these can be used to gain unauthorized access to various online accounts, including:

  • Email Accounts: Access to email accounts can provide cybercriminals with a wealth of information and the ability to launch further attacks.
  • Social Media Accounts: Compromised social media accounts can be used for spreading spam, phishing attempts, or even blackmail.
  • Online Banking Accounts: Unauthorized access to online banking accounts can lead to financial loss or even identity theft.
  • E-commerce Accounts: Breached e-commerce accounts can result in fraudulent purchases using the victim’s saved payment information.

Healthcare Data

Healthcare data, including medical records and insurance information, is also frequently exposed in data breaches. This type of information is particularly valuable due to its potential use for medical fraud or identity theft. Cybercriminals may Target healthcare organizations to gain access to this sensitive data.

In Conclusion

Data breaches expose a wide range of sensitive information. Personal identifiable information (PII), financial details, credentials and passwords, as well as healthcare data are among the most frequently Targeted types of data. It is crucial for individuals and organizations alike to prioritize cybersecurity measures and ensure the protection of these valuable assets.

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