A data breach is an infringement where protected, confidential, or sensitive data is copied, transmitted, or stolen. Data breaches may involve everything from financial information to highly sensitive intellectual property, costing organizations a great deal of money and resources.
There are three types of data breaches:
- Physical Breach: This involves the theft of documents or equipment e.g. PCs, laptops, external hard drives
- Electronic Breach: An attack on a network or system where cardholder data is processed, stored, or transmitted - this can include infiltrating web servers or websites.
- Skimming: The capturing and recording of the magnetic stripe data on the back of credit cards - which can then be used to steal data and create counterfeit credit and debit cards.
Of course it's not just organzations which are susceptible to data theft - the individual consumer also needs to protect their data, and should be wary about updating passwords, and careful about how they may transmit data online.