Data Privacy Breach vs. Cyberattack Overview

Proof Point

Data privacy breaches involve mishandling of data by authorized parties, while cyberattacks are intentional penetration of systems

Data Privacy Breach vs. Cyberattack Overview

Proof Point Findings

Data Privacy Breach

  • Definition – Inappropriate handling of data, whether intended or unintended, leading to exposure in an unauthorized environment
  • Persons Involved – Include regular employees, authorized third-party firms, and legitimate organizations
  • Selected Examples – Include selling or distribution of confidential data to third-party without consent, lost devices containing sensitive information, and incorrect on-premise or cloud system set-up


  • Definition – Malicious attack on vulnerabilities of computer systems, networks, Internet applications, or devices to gain illegal access to data or cause disruption
  • Persons Involved – Include hackers, unauthorized personnel and identity thieves
  • Selected Examples – Include viruses, worms, trojan horses, botnets, spyware, and phishing sites





AcceleratingBiz analysis

Date Last Updated

June 25, 2018

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