What is a Cyber Breach?

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A cyber breach, sometimes called a data breach, has the power to quickly throw your business — and possibly your life — into disarray. In most cases, you won’t even know that a data breach has occurred until your customers are already at risk.

This puts your business, your privacy, and your customers’ security on the line. It doesn’t have to be this way. Security breaches are common, but they are not inevitable. You can and should fight back against criminals.

When Data is Breached

Data breaches come in many shapes and sizes, but they share a common goal: to surreptitiously gain access to as much data as possible. Breaches normally target customer information — passwords, addresses, financial information, confidential health information.

But some criminals also use data breaches to engage in corporate espionage. They may attempt to steal proprietary information from your servers, leak embarrassing information, or copy your programming secrets.

Data breaches can cost millions. One study found that the average consolidated cost of a data breach is $4 million. That’s enough to bankrupt many companies. Even if the data that is stolen has no actual value, its loss can cost you the invaluable asset of your reputation.

Recent Data Breaches

A number of large companies have faced data breaches in the last few years. And if these businesses — which have millions of dollars to throw at security — are vulnerable, then so too are smaller app developers.

Late last year, Yahoo! Confirmed that data associated with at least 500 million user accounts was stolen. It remains to be seen what will happen with this data. It may be broken into bundles and sold to criminals, used to impersonate users, or serve as a source of both blackmail and financial gain. The aftershocks of the breach may reverberate for years, and have already shaken Yahoo’s reputation to the very core.

Target recently settled a suit for $39 million as a result of its own data breach. The breach, which affected 40 million customers, also affected the banks serving those customers. MasterCard filed a class action to recover some of the lost funds associated with the breach, but this was just one of a long line of class actions by banks and credit card issuers.

The breach occurred as part of a massive hack of customer data in Target’s databases. Target continues to fight the bad press it experienced, and many customers have reported being more reluctant to share data with the retail giant.

How Criminals Access Data

Criminals are surprisingly savvy. While your company must focus on a range of tasks — promoting your app, creating an attractive user interface, addressing code bugs — hackers have one goal: accessing your data. When you’re fighting people engaged in such a highly focused pursuit, it’s easy to lose.

Hackers can gain access to key data in a number of ways:

  • Behavioral engineering, which convinces customers to give passwords and other sensitive data.
  • Writing scripts to repeatedly try different passwords, allowing them to gain access via brute force.
  • Accessing unencrypted data.
  • Hacking into your servers to gain access to stored customer data and information about app development.

AppSolid protects your app at every step of the hacking fight, ensuring hacking is thwarted before it begins.

How a Data Breach Can Affect Your Brand

With more than 4 million apps available — more than two million each on Android and Apple devices — every mobile device is a sitting duck for criminals. Even novice hackers, and even children, can and do competently hack apps. So don’t think for a second that you’re safe just because you’ve used a few intelligent security measures.

A dedicated hacker can hack even the most sophisticated app. The more valuable the data, the longer and harder a criminal is willing to try. If you store customer addresses and credit cards, proprietary company information, or health information, you can bet that your app will be a frequent data breach target.

Many app developers resign themselves to this fact, telling themselves that a data breach is the customer’s problem. After all, customers choose which information to share, and insecure passwords and other bad choices are often culprits in data breaches.

Don’t think this way. Data breaches can destroy companies. Consider the following:

  • Criminals may target your proprietary data, not just your customers’ information.
  • If your name is associated with a large breach, it destroys consumer trust in your products.
  • In a competitive marketplace, it’s unlikely you have a monopoly on your type of app. Customers will choose your competitors if you don’t secure their data.
  • A data breach could land you in legal trouble, particularly if customers sue or you make false promises about the security of their information.

Don’t let a data breach put your name in the news. With AppSolid, you can protect your customers, your product, and your reputation. With our industry-leading binary protection, we work to get ahead of potential breaches before they become a reality. Rest easy with AppSolid, knowing that your customers and your reputation are safe.

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