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Data Breach

A data breach is the unauthorized exposure of sensitive information. This is a major security issue for businesses and can result in significant legal penalties, losses in reputation and brand damage.

A hacker compromising an organization’s network is the most common data breach, but other types of attacks are also possible. For example, an employee could accidentally delete or lose sensitive files.

Malicious actors spend hours researching their target, scoping out employees and systems to find vulnerabilities. Once they’ve identified a weak point, they execute an attack to gain access to the targeted data.

Social attack: In this type of cyberattack, the attacker uses social engineering tactics to infiltrate the target’s network and collect personal information. This data can then be used for blackmail or cyberpropaganda.

Vulnerability exploit: Another form of cyberattack is vulnerability exploitation, in which a hacker creates an exploit before it is known to the company. This is called a zero-day attack and can be extremely damaging to an organization’s business.

Denial-of-service (DoS) attack: A DoS is a type of cyberattack that overloads an organization’s network with fake requests to prevent legitimate users from accessing the system or website. This can cause the organization to crash or damage its infrastructure.

Human error: A disgruntled employee can accidentally disclose sensitive data or purposely fall for phishing or social engineering attacks. This can cost an organization millions in lost reputation and brand damage.

In the UK, if your organization is responsible for protecting personal data and a data breach results in a high risk to an individual’s rights and freedoms, it is required under the GDPR to inform those concerned. This should happen without undue delay and at the latest within 72 hours after becoming aware of the incident.