There are many different types of data privacy incident, and it is essential from a reputational and communications perspective that you know what you are dealing with and describe it accurately.

Here are the main types of cyber and data privacy risks and incidents taking place today.

  • Cyber attack: a malicious attempt to damage, disrupt or gain unauthorised or illegal access to computer systems, networks or devices
  • Cyber warfare: the actions by a nation-state or international organisation to attack and attempt to damage or destroy another nation’s computers or information networks.
  • Cyber espionage: the stealing of secrets stored in digital formats or on computers and IT networks.
  • Data breach: an incident in which data, computer systems or networks are accessed or affected in unauthorised or illegal manner.
  • Data leak: the transfer of sensitive or confidential information to unauthorised parties within or outside the organisation.
  • Data loss: the process in which information is destroyed by failure or neglect in transmission, processing or by cybercriminal hands.

A more comprehensive cyber glossary can be found on the UK National Cyber Security Centre website.