Glossary

Breach

A breach, or data breach, is damage caused by unauthorized access to your computer systems, software, or data that results in the exposure of sensitive information. A data breach can cause significant financial and reputational damage.

Terms related to Breach: Vulnerability, Phishing, Social Engineering, Exploit, Root, Patch, Cybersecurity, Authentication, Malware, Multifactor Authentication, Firewall, Encryption, Dark Web.

A data breach always occurs as a result of a security incident, typically because criminals and hackers have accessed unauthorized information and then stolen or released it, resulting in issues for anyone whose data has been exposed. Certain compliance and regulations including GDPR, PCI DSS, and HIPAA mandate that organizations must protect against data breaches.

Data breaches typically attack one or more types of data including health and medical records, identity information, company and trade secrets, or intellectual property. Breaches happen as the result of a hacker identifying and exploiting a vulnerability in a computer system. They use this exploit to gain access, find the information they are after, extract it, and then release it or offer it for sale on the dark web.

Data breaches can result in litigation and fines against the organization and can also cause significant reputational damage including loss of customer trust and a drop in stock prices. There is no simple way to protect against all data breaches, as attack vectors change rapidly. However, some techniques can reduce the likelihood and impact of data breaches including: multifactor authentication, vulnerability scanning and resolution, penetration testing, security monitoring, patching and maintenance, firewalls, encryption, and employee training.

Breach Resources from Crossmatch