What is a Data Breach

61% of Breaches Hit Small Businesses in 2017

Most states and federal law generally define a data breach as the loss of or unauthorized access to an individual's personal, sensitive information. Small businesses are particularly vulnerable because they don't have the resources or don't believe they will be a target.

The technical definition of a data breach varies between federal and state laws, and state to state, but in general, a data breach is the unauthorized acquisition or access of unencrypted personal information by an individual. This could result if the information systems are hacked, or the personal information is lost, such as in the case of a lost laptop. The kind of personal information that, if accessed or acquired, could trigger a breach includes a person's full name together with Social Security number, credit card number, or medical information.

There are different types of data breaches, including: