Types of Security Breaches

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A physical security breach can occur when an intruder steals a computer.
A physical security breach can occur when an intruder steals a computer. (Image: Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Businesses store vast amounts of information. A security breach occurs when an intruder, employee or outsider gets past an organization’s security measures and policies to access the data. This sort of security breach could compromise the data and harm people. There are various state laws that require companies to notify people who could be affected by security breaches.

Physical Security Breach

One form of breach is a physical security breach, wherein the intruder steals physical data, such as files or equipment that contains the data. Intruders could steal computers, particularly laptops, for this purpose. Businesses should monitor access to their property to cut down on such incidents and require employees to lock away their laptops when not in use.

Electronic Security Breach

Another form of breach is an electronic security breach, wherein the intruder gets into a business’ systems to access sensitive data. The intruder gains such access by taking advantage of any weaknesses in the systems, such as inadequate firewall protection. This could also happen if the organization does not have adequate password protection for sensitive data. This sort of security breach is one reason businesses should perform constant security updates.

Data Capture Security Breach

Data capture, or skimming, is a practice whereby the intruder captures and records the data on a magnetic card stripe, such as on a credit card. This form of security breach helps the intruder produce copies of credit and debit cards. The intruder could either be an employee of a merchant who handles the customer’s card, or it could be an external intruder. An external intruder could attach a device to card readers or ATM machines to skim information.

Business Response

Businesses should be wary of security breaches. Best practices for businesses to follow include having a policy in place to deal with any incidents of security breaches. They should identify what information has been compromised and decide who are the appropriate regulatory authorities to which they should report. Affected customers should also be notified.

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