All About Data Breach
Data breach is actually either unintentional or intentional release of private/confidential or secure information to untrustworthy environment. Some other terms used for this include data leak, data spill and also, unintentional information disclosure. This said incidents can also range from organized attacks by some black hat hackers associated with organized crime, national governments or political activities to careless disposal of used data storage media or computer equipment and systems.
The simplest definition for data breach is a kind of security incident to which sensitive, confidential or protected data is transmitted, viewed, copied, stolen or even used by individual unauthorized to do so. Data breaches can even involve financial information similar to bank details or credit card, PHI or Personal Health Information, PII or Personal Identifiable Information, intellectual property or trade secrets of corporations. Most of the data breaches are involving vulnerable and overexposed unstructured files, data, documents as well as sensitive information.
This can also include incidents like theft or even loss of digital media similar to hard drives, computer tapes or even laptops or computers that contain media upon which the information is stored unencrypted, posting the information on the internet or on computer. Accessible otherwise from the internet even without proper information security precautions, transfer of this info to a system which is not completely open but is not formally or appropriately accredited for security at approved levels such as the transfer of such info to an information system of a potentially hostile agency such as foreign nation or competing corporation where the data can be exposed to a more intensive techniques in decryption.
The concept of trusted environment is somewhat fluid actually. The departure of trusted staff members with accessibility to sensitive info may become a data breach if only the staff member has retained access to data subsequent to the termination of trust relationship. This might take place with breakdown in web of trust in distributed systems.
Majority of these incidents are publicized in media and involves private info on individuals like social security numbers and the likes. The loss of corporate information like sensitive corporate info, details of contracts, trade secrets and so on or of government information is unreported all too often. This is mainly because of the reason that there is no compelling reason to do such in the absence of potential damage to the private citizens and even publicity around such event may be more damaging than losing the data itself.
In regards to this matter, a data breach lawyer is called upon to settle things and at the same time, to apply the right legal action.