When large organizations “lose” or accidentally expose data, it’s often through hacking, negligence, or both. However, there are several other types of data loss and/or corruption that would be classified as a “breach.” Let’s take a look at four additional types of breaches.



Ransomware is the name for malicious software which gains access and locks down access to vital data (i.e., files, systems). These attacks most commonly target businesses. Files and/or systems are locked down and a certain fee is demanded (most often in the form of Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies).




Malware is any software designed to harm computer files and/or systems. Ironically, malware often masquerades as a warning against malicious software in an attempt to convince users to download the very types of software mentioned in the “warning” message.





Phishing occurs when someone or something mimics a trusted, reputable entity in order to collect sensitive data (often banking or highly personal details). These attacks are not exclusive to the Internet. Common methods for phishing scams can include:

  • A pop-up on your browser
  • An email with a link
  • A person on the phone claiming to be a representative of a reputable company


Denial-of-Service (DoS)

A denial-of-service (DoS) breach essentially takes away access to websites and web pages. When this happens at large scale, it’s known as a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS). These large-scale attacks can disrupt a large portion of sites online in certain areas. One of the largest DDoS attacks on record is the 2016 attack on Dyn which made a considerable portion of Eastern U.S. Internet access virtually unusable for several hours. The largest and most recent DDoS attack happened to GitHub in February of 2018.