Data Breach | Meaning and Definition

What is Data breach?

A data breach meaning is when malevolent insiders or external attackers get unauthorized access to confidential data or sensitive information, such as medical records, financial data, or personally-identifying information. It is one of the most prevalent and costly forms of cybersecurity disasters. They affect organizations of all sizes, industries, and locations, and they happen on a frighteningly frequent basis.

Unintentionally or intentionally, a data attack can happen. When a legitimate data custodian, such as an employee loses or misuses business tools, an unintentional breach occurs. A worker who visits unprotected websites installs a compromised software package on a work laptop, connects to an unsecured Wi-Fi network, then misplaces a laptop or smartphone in a public place, which can lead to a breach.

Breach of data should be prevented at all costs. Many breaches may be avoided with training and awareness, such as those caused by unintended or irresponsible data disclosure or social engineering assaults like Hacking. Training employees on security protocols, assisting them in avoiding social engineering assaults, and properly identifying sensitive data are all examples of preventative measures.

Unauthorized access can be denied, and various forms of assaults on information systems can be prevented using security measures.

Data breaches can result in lost businesses, costly settlements etc.

Breaches proves very costly for the organizations as huge resources are utilized in recovering the lost data. This cost may be high in organizations indulged in financial sector where disclosure of the data can result in legal implications. 

Ultimately the loss caused due to data breaches depends upon certain number of factors:

  • Size of the organization or the number of employees working in the organization
  • Total cost of the data lost
  • Amount of data lost during breach
  • Impact of breach on day to day activities of the organization
  • Recoverability of data lost 
  • Speed of recovery of breach

Forms of data breach

It may occur in various different forms such as

  • Accidental Web– They may occur when sensitive data of the user is available on the public platform which is easily accessible by anyone
  • Unauthorized access to data– The unauthorized access of the data can result in data breach as the person can use the data in various illegal ways.
  • Hacking– When the data is unethically accessed by a person who intentionally wants to make misuse of the data.
  • Insider Theft– This is the situation where a current or former employee of the organization gain access to data and use it in unethical ways.
  • Physical Theft– In this case the data is physically  extracted from the smartphones or the tablets.
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