Data breach vs security breach. What is a data breach? Is it the same as a security breach? Are there any real differences? Let us find out together below.
Data Breach vs Security Breach
A data breach is a loss of sensitive information due to unauthorized access or accidental exposure. Information can be lost due to hacking or human errors like sending an email with sensitive information to the wrong person. The data breach has often been referred to as a data leak by many organizations, but it is not accurate. A data breach is the intentional act of stealing, collecting sensitive information.
For example, let us say that someone has stolen credit card information from the customer database of XYZ Company and then sold it to the highest bidder on the black market. This is a data breach because someone intentionally stole sensitive information, credit card numbers in this case.
On the other hand, a security breach is a violation of the security policies of an organization (or network), which leads to the unauthorized access or exposure of sensitive information.
For example, if your organization (XYZ Company) is storing all credit card details in plain text files on servers without any encryption protection. Then it can be called a security vulnerability.
It is not a security breach because there was no unauthorized access to these files (at least no one knows about that). On the other hand, if someone hacks into a server and steals these plain text files containing credit card details, then it can be called a security breach because the hacker has accessed the server without authorization.
Security breaches are very common nowadays, unfortunately. Why? Well, one of the major reasons for this is the lack of awareness among users about data security best practices. Simply put, people are not aware of what they are doing wrong that exposes their systems or data to hacker attacks.
Most Common Types of Data Breaches
The most common types of data breaches are listed below:
- Loss/Theft. This is one of the most common types of data breaches where someone steals physical devices containing sensitive information from companies or government agencies.
- Lack of Security Training. Another common type of data breach happens when someone leaves the organization or quits his/her job. This person takes all the company’s data with him/her on his/her laptop or external hard drive. External hard drives are easy to steal. However, organizations can implement strict policies to restrict employees from taking sensitive information with them when they leave the organization.
- Data stored on Mobile Devices. Sensitive information stored on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets is another target for hackers. There are many ways that they can access this information, including eavesdropping, stealing devices, or even getting physical access to the device.
- Security Flaws. This occurs when there are security flaws in an organization’s IT infrastructure that exposes sensitive data to unauthorized access by hackers.
The above are the most common types of data breaches in organizations around the world today.
So, data breach vs security breach. A data breach is a loss of sensitive information due to unauthorized access or accidental exposure. A security breach is a violation of the security policies of an organization.