The Four Most Common Types of Data Breaches Threatening Businesses

You’ve protected your enterprise data, but what are you protecting it from?

As a cloud service provider, we often speak about the importance of data protection and recovery, especially for smaller businesses. Afterall, small business does account for 28% of all data breaches. But with all of the focus being on preventative and protective measures, an explanation of what your businesses needs safeguarding against is often overlooked. 

Ransomware, malware, denial of service, and phishing schemes are the most common types of data breaches. Although they present different threats, the reasoning and effect behind these attacks largely stays the same: malicious attackers wish to gain unauthorized access to a network in order to profit from the company’s need to restore services and data. 

Understanding the types of attacks that are targeting businesses is the first step to building a proactive and reactive defense strategy. Let’s take a look at the types of data breaches that most commonly affect organizations. 


Malware, or malicious software, is a program or computer code designed to gain unauthorized access to a system. It often acts as an entry point for nefarious actors to get into a network in order to pilfer data, encrypt files or render computer functions useless. Many attacks start with malware, which employees can unwittingly deploy on a network when they visit a compromised website or download a malicious attachment. Two such attacks recently made headlines: in 2019 when Robin Hood took control of the City of Baltimore’s servers and in 2017 after a coordinated effort called WannaCry took down servers across the globe, including, most notably, the National Health Services in the U.K.


A ransomware attack gains access to a system, either to deny authorized users from accessing a system or data, in order to demand ransom for the return of the data or access. In 2019, ransomware attacks declined by 20%. This may seem like good news, but closer analysis reveals a bleaker outlook for business. While ransomware attacks declined by 20% overall, they increased 12% in business. These types of financially motivated attacks often target small businesses because SMBS are considered more willing to meet ransom demands. The future of ransomware doesn’t seem promising, either. By 2021, some firms estimate a business will fall victim to such an attack every 11 seconds

Denial-of-service (DoS)

A denial-of-service attack seeks to disrupt workflow and disable users from accessing their machines, network, or servers. Although their effect on a business is less tangible, the losses they cause in productivity can cost a company more than the ransom an attacker is seeking and can last long after a breach has occurred. Downtime caused by a data breach can cost a small business up to $50,000 per hour. Though DoS attacks don’t result in a loss of files or physical data, they can result in lost profits. A study by Ponemon Institute found that 36% of the cost of a data breach is the result of lost business because after losing customer trust


Phishing schemes are often disregarded as a threat to the consumer rather than a business, but a study found that phishing schemes account for 32% of data breaches. These types of data breaches are executed via disguised emails that aim at obtaining personal identifying information or money transfers. The arrest and ongoing trial of Ramon Abbas, an Instagram influencer known for his opulent lifestyle, brought business-targeted phishing schemes back to the spotlight when charges revealed he allegedly stole hundreds of millions of dollars from unwitting businesses via a large-scale phishing scheme that targeted US-based companies. 

Although data breaches differ in process, the goal is also the same: to disable an organization in order to profit. And data breaches have another commonality—the proactive and reactive measures that can be taken to prevent them. Businesses can proactively defend against all types of data breaches with cyber threat education and awareness, antivirus and firewall implementation, and restrictive measures such as limiting admin, file, and website access. Reactively, backing up your enterprise data guarantees a quick recovery from a breach. Cloud backup, specifically, is a solution to all types of breaches and allows access to the stored data, even when access to your physical servers has been compromised. 

Data breaches can cause days and weeks of downtime, but BigMIND by Zoolz allows your workforce to pick up where they left off immediately. Whether you’re looking for a cloud storage solution, Disaster Recovery, or a plan that works in step with your Microsoft suite, BigMIND by Zoolz has the cloud solution fit to defend your organization from attack.