7 Common Causes of Data Breach

Data breach is the exposure of customer information and it is becoming a more common (and frightening) occurrence. Could your business be the next victim, left to face tremendous financial costs, lost customers and lost reputation?

Consider these common causes of data breach:

1. Missing or stolen laptop that contains Personally Identifiable Information (PII). How can this happen?

  • Your laptop is stolen from your unoccupied, parked vehicle.
  • Luggage containing your laptop fails to arrive at the correct destination.
  • Your laptop is stolen from your business or home office.

 2. Misdirected PII. How can this happen?

  • Documents are faxed to the wrong number.
  • Bills, statements, etc. are sent to the wrong address.
  • PII is emailed to the incorrect recipient.

3. PII is posted or printed in a public venue. How can this happen?

  • PII was accidentally posted to a public website.
  • PII that became public record was not edited or obscured.

4. Compromised computer system or network. How can this happen?

  • Your computer has a virus, spyware “bot” or Trojan horse.
  • Your company wi-fi network has been left open or is improperly secured.
  • Your system has been hacked or accessed (suspicious email attachments).

5. Loss of theft of physical documents. How can this happen?

  • Documents containing PII were shipped but failed to arrive at the correct destination.
  • Documents are stolen or missing following a break-in.

6. Breach caused by a vendor. How can this happen?

  • A payroll processor or benefits provider suffers a breach that exposes your employees’ PII.
  • A vendor loses data while handling PII on behalf of your business.

7. Improper document disposal or destruction. How can this happen?

  • Backup data that you have submitted for destruction is unaccounted for.
  • Your documents and/or document destruction storage areas are unsecured.
  • Documents containing PII are recycled or left exposed.

Being aware of these common causes of data breach is the first step towards implementing safeguards that will help to lessen the threat to your business.

Find more information on our blog about data security and what business owners need to know.

Are you covered? Society’s comprehensive cyber liability insurance provides data security and privacy coverage, expert claims handling, and data breach response services. Contact your local Society agent to discuss this extra layer of protection for your business.


Mark obtained his B.B.A degree in Business Management from Marian College in Fond du Lac, Wis. and began his career at Society Insurance in 2005 in the Property, Auto and Liability Claims Department. Since joining the company, he has graduated from Society's College of Insurance, earned the AIC designation and has been awarded Society's Policyholder Service Excellence Award.

Latest Articles

How a Restaurant Closing Checklist Benefits Your Business

As a bar or restaurant owner, you know that your night isn’t over when the last customer leaves....

Creative Interview Questions for Finding the Right Candidate

Interview questions usually revolve around a candidate’s work history, experience and unique...


Have you ever caught yourself wondering why your business’ premium changes over time? Odds are you...

[Updated 2022] What Is Inflation Guard & Have There Been Recent Developments?

In 2021, we saw a unique economic environment. Supply chains were affected dramatically and a few...

 The Rise of the Streatery: What it Is and Why Is it Popular?

As demand for outdoor dining has grown quickly, cities everywhere have seen streets transformed by...

5 Ways to Inspire Employees

A recent report revealed that 21% of millennial employees have changed jobs within the past year....

Why Periodic Roof Inspections Are Essential

When thinking of how to keep your business running smoothly, the outside of your business matters...

Three Tips for Engaging Remote Employees

Remote work has become increasingly popular over the last decade as more people look for work-life...


The landscape of human resources is changing rapidly. With the explosion of social media and sites...

6 Ways to Find Exceptional Job Candidates

Recruiting new employees is one of the most important responsibilities of any business. A skilled...

Stay up to date with industry updates by subscribing to the Society Insurance blog!