The risks of sensitive data exposure

What is sensitive data exposure?

Sensitive data exposure is a type of cybersecurity vulnerability that affects many web applications. These occur when a company inadvertently exposes personal data as a result of inadequate protection.

According to owasp: Many web applications and APIs do not properly protect sensitive data, such as financial, healthcare, and PII. Attackers may steal or modify such weakly protected data to conduct credit card fraud, identity theft, or other crimes. Sensitive data may be compromised without extra protection, such as encryption at rest or in transit, and requires special precautions when exchanged with the browser.

The difference between data exposure and data breaches

Data breaches occur when personal data is accessed without authorisation. Data exposure is when data is accessible due to a lack of security. This can occur for many reasons, including broken authentication, flaws in software, insufficient logging & monitoring, weak database encryption, or data uploads to incorrect databases.

The risks of data exposure

Sensitive data exposure can be financially costly to your business and damage your reputation and brand. The type of data at risk of exposure includes financial reports, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, usernames, passwords, customer’s personal details, and healthcare information. 

How to identify sensitive data exposure issues

Penetration testing is a vital service that tests your security and how you handle data to identify vulnerabilities and rectify them before you fall victim to a cyber attack. Pen testing should take place regularly, and your business type and risk levels determine this frequency.

Omnicyber Security performs penetration testing to check for weaknesses, such as if your website uses SSL and HTTPS security and if your databases can be compromised by SQL injection. We also check if your network uses components with known vulnerabilities and for insecure deserialisation, broken access control, security misconfiguration, cross-site scripting XSS, and XML external entities (XXE).

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