Nowadays, data is the lifeblood of businesses, making data incidents a critical concern. An incident can range from a simple employee mistake, like sending an email to the wrong person, to more severe cases, such as cyber-attacks that compromise customer information. Understanding and reporting these incidents are not just about compliance but foundational to trust and security in the digital ecosystem.

What Constitutes a Data Incident?

A data incident occurs whenever a security breach leads to accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, or unauthorised disclosure of or access to personal data. This broad definition encompasses everything from cyberattacks like malware or phishing to physical breaches such as unauthorised access to a laptop containing sensitive information.

The Importance of Reporting

As a responsible business, it is crucial to report any instance of a near miss or suspected breach of personal information without delay. It is important to ensure that your clients’ personal information is kept safe and secure at all times, not just to comply with regulations, but also to respect their privacy and build trust in your business. In case of a breach, reporting it immediately can help mitigate the damage and prevent similar incidents in the future. We encourage our employees to be vigilant and report any such incidents promptly to the relevant authorities to uphold our commitment to data security and privacy.

Types of Data Incidents

Data incidents can vary widely in nature and impact. Examples include:

  • Phishing Attacks: Where attackers trick employees into providing access to the system.
  • Ransomware: Malicious software that encrypts data, demanding a ransom for its release.
  • Accidental Data Exposure: An employee mistakenly sends sensitive information to the wrong recipient.


Understanding the scope and variety of data incidents is the first step in building an effective data protection strategy. The importance of reporting cannot be overstated, as it is a key component of compliance, mitigation, and, ultimately, maintaining the trust of your customers. Stay tuned for our next post, where we’ll dive into the anatomy of a near miss in data security.

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Why not read our other blog ‘Understanding the difference between Data Incidents and Data Breaches‘ or ‘Risk Assessing a data Breach’