Warning Signs of an Active Data Breach

Knowing the warning signs of an active data breach can help you to stop these cyber attacks quickly and effectively. Prompt detection of a security breach can allow you to contact law enforcement and can help you to address suspicious activity much more quickly. Here are the most common warning signs that a data breach may be in progress at your business. This article will review warning signs of an active data breach.


May 12, 2023

Suspicious Access to User Accounts

Hackers often use phishing or other social engineering methods to gain access to user accounts. Once they have achieved unauthorized access to your system, cybercriminals can nullify data protection measures like your firewall and antivirus programs to install malware and ransomware. These cyber attacks can also exploit vulnerabilities in your systems to access corporate and personal data that could prove devastating to your company, your profitability and your customers.

Changes in Data Usage

Unexplained alterations in the way data is accessed and used can also be real-time indications that a data breach is in progress. Implementing security policies that outline the acceptable use of data is a good first step toward ensuring that company insiders do not violate safety protocols regarding your corporate information. In many cases, the right security tools can allow your IT team to determine the source of the data requests and prevent a security incident that could damage your company’s reputation.

Unusual Activity by System Users

Spotting unusual behavior by your regular users is a key element in identifying data breaches and acting to stop them quickly. For instance, if a user signs on from an unfamiliar endpoint or IP address, this could be a red flag that alerts you to an issue with your cybersecurity. User accounts that are accessing information not usually required for their specific roles can also be a sign of malware or cyber attacks by hackers and cybercriminals. Additionally, if files are being accessed or changed in a way that is out of the ordinary for your users, it is worthwhile to contact the affected users directly to determine if they are responsible for these instances of unusual behavior.

Unauthorized Changes to Network Infrastructure

The right security tools can make it difficult or impossible for those outside your IT team to make major changes to network settings or infrastructure. If you do spot changes not made by your IT staff, however, chances are good that you are currently experiencing a security breach or another type of cyber attack. Taking action right away is usually the best method available to stop these security incidents. Closing any gaps or vulnerabilities in your cybersecurity perimeter can also prevent these issues in the future.

Slow Performance for Networks and Devices

Slow internet connections and sudden loss of performance can be red flags that a cyber attack or data breach is underway. If your IT team reports unusually slow internet or loss of network connectivity, looking for the warning signs of malware or unauthorized access to data can often allow you to spot the source of the issue quickly. Prompt response times are critical in reducing the impact of data breaches and unauthorized access to your company’s user accounts and information. Contacting the appropriate law enforcement agencies can also reduce your liability in security incidents involving customer or patient data.

Multiple Locked User Accounts

Locked accounts are a common issue in the IT world. If your IT team reports multiple simultaneous locked user accounts, however, you may be the target of a cyber attack or data breach. Locked accounts could be a sign of brute-force attacks by hackers or a concerted attempt by cybercriminals to gain access to your servers and your data. Taking steps to address any vulnerabilities in your firewall, antivirus, and other security measures can often prevent unauthorized access to your data, your network, and your servers. Educating your staff members on the risks of phishing and social engineering strategies can also be a good step toward preventing data breaches in the future.

Unexplained Deficiencies in Bandwidth

Bandwidth is defined as the amount of information a network is capable of transferring to and from its servers. If your IT team notices a sudden decrease in the amount of bandwidth available for corporate activities, you should consider this a red flag that indicates some type of security breach or cyber attack.

The Right Cybersecurity Solutions for Preventing Data Breaches

While a prompt and robust data breach response is essential to prevent unauthorized access to your company’s financial and confidential data, implementing a proactive cybersecurity plan is the best way to prevent these attacks before they occur. This includes establishing proactive security policies and educating staff members about what to do if they suspect a data breach.

There are some steps you can take to protect your business against data breaches and their negative effects. Some of the most effective strategies to boost your cybersecurity stance include the following:

  • Implementing strong passwords and multi-factor authentication requirements
  • Educating staff members about social engineering methods
  • Securing your networks with firewalls and antivirus protections
  • Updating and upgrading software to address vulnerabilities
  • Establishing a comprehensive data security program
  • Investing in a cybersecurity assessment to identify weak spots in your networks and overall security stance

Working with a company that specializes in managed IT and cybersecurity services can be a practical way to safeguard your company and your data from breaches, unauthorized access, and misuse. Meriplex can provide you with the customized services you need to protect yourself from cyber attacks that could threaten the future of your company.

At Meriplex, we offer managed security services that can provide real benefits for your business. Our IT experts can provide the training and education your staff needs to secure endpoints, safeguard personal data, and maintain a robust security stance that can reduce the risk of data breaches. We can customize a package that will address cybersecurity concerns and that will help you to prevent security incidents in the future.

Visit Meriplex online to get in touch with us and schedule a consultation. We are here to help when you need professional IT and data security services to keep your company safe from cyber attacks.