A data breach is an illegal or unintentional release of confidential or protected private/public information to an unauthorized third party. The word itself is enough to send shivers down the spines of most people, but what exactly does it mean?
In its simplest terms, a data breach is an unauthorized transfer of personal or confidential information from one person to another without the consent of the former. Other words for the phenomenon include intentional information leak, unauthorized information disclosure, information leakage or simply information spill. Although the term data breach does not pertain to every type of breach, these are the three major types that are most common. This also applies to other types of incidents that happen within your company.
First, the most common kind of data breach happens with employee information. An instance of this type of event can be someone entering an employee’s files without permission or authorization from management. In other words, they were allowed access to confidential or protected data without having any special approval from their superiors.
Another important incident that could lead to data breaches is an individual gaining access to a company system. In this instance, the intruder has the legal right to have access to the system but is often unaware of the system’s safety measures.
A third example of a data breach would be a company engaging in a breach of security. This involves the illegal release of a company’s sensitive data to the general public. Sometimes companies that engage in this practice are actually malicious entities that simply want to hurt a business or expose the information in order to cause further damage to the business. These entities are commonly referred to as data thieves.
As you can see, there are several ways in which a company can experience a data breach. Each situation will need to be looked at on a case by case basis, depending on the nature of the incident and the details of the breach. If you suspect there might be a data breach occurring within your organization, the first step you should take is to ensure the proper notification is received to the appropriate authorities and law enforcement officials.
The best way to notify a data breach is through an electronic communication. For instance, emails can be sent out to everyone within the company that can help to protect the data and avoid any further damages. However, it is important to remember that an email only acts as a notification if the owner of the email account is willing to be notified. Once the person deletes the email, there is no guarantee that he or she will even bother to respond to the notification.
The next step in taking the steps needed to prevent a data breach is to notify your employees about the issue. By doing this, you can begin to educate your employees about the need to protect the company’s sensitive data from outside sources.
One of the most important steps in taking care of your company’s data is to establish a reporting procedure. You need to make sure your employees know how to report a potential data breach to you so that you can conduct proper investigations and take all necessary steps to prevent any further damage.