A security incident is a security violation, which puts or has put the availability, the integrity or the confidentiality of information in jeopardy. Examples are:
- loss or theft of a USB stick, DVD or CD-ROM;
- loss or theft of a laptop, smartphone or tablet;
- sending emails in which the addressees’ email addresses are visible to the other addressees;
- a directory that has accidentally been left open for a weekend;
- a calamity such as a fire or break-in in the data centre;
- a break-in by a hacker.
That last incident is an intentional attack to purposely obtain your data. In most cases the data is not used, because hackers are only interested in being able to hack you. Most attacks are not personal attacks aimed at the victim. But that does not mean that these attacks are not dangerous. Sometimes your data is used, for example to make purchases. In the worst case, your identity may even be stolen. More information about this can be found under Social media and how to protect yourself against attacks.
Hackers use all number of techniques to organize an attack. It is important to be able to recognize a possible incident.