Browse Definitions:
Definition

security incident

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

A security incident is an event that may indicate that an organization's systems or data have been compromised or that measures put in place to protect them have failed.

In IT, an event is anything that has significance for system hardware or software and an incident is an event that disrupts normal operations. Security events are usually distinguished from security incidents by the degree of severity and the associated potential risk to the organization.

If a single user is denied access to a requested service, for example, that can be considered a security event because there is some possibility that it indicates a compromised system but the access failure could also be caused by a lot of other things and that single event does not typically have a severe impact on the organization. However, if large numbers of users are denied access, it is likely to mean that there is a more serious problem, such as a denial of service (DoS) attack, so that event may be classified as a security incident.

According to NIST Special Publication 800-61, a security incident is the violation of an explicit or implied security policy.

Examples of security incidents:

  • Attempts from unauthorized sources to access systems or data.
  • Unplanned disruption to a service or denial of a service.
  • Unauthorized processing or storage of data.
  • Unauthorized changes to system hardware, firmware, or software.

Processes and products designed to help with security incident management include incident response planning (IRP), security awareness training and security information and event management (SIEM).

This was last updated in November 2016

Continue Reading About security incident

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

SearchSecurity

  • password

    A password is an unspaced sequence of characters used to determine that a computer user requesting access to a computer system is...

  • adware

    Adware is any software application in which advertising banners are displayed while a program is running.

  • botnet

    A botnet is a collection of internet-connected devices, which may include PCs, servers, mobile devices and internet of things ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

  • mass notification system (MNS)

    A mass notification system is a platform that sends one-way messages to inform employees and the public of an emergency.

  • disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS)

    One approach to a strong disaster recovery plan is DRaaS, where companies offload data replication and restoration ...

SearchStorage

  • data migration

    Data migration is the process of transferring data between data storage systems, data formats or computer systems.

  • compact disc (CD)

    A compact disc is a portable storage medium that can be used for recording, storing and playing back audio, video and other data ...

  • secondary storage

    Secondary storage is used to protect inactive data written from a primary storage array to a nonvolatile tier of disk, flash or ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • SSD RAID (solid-state drive RAID)

    SSD RAID (solid-state drive RAID) is a methodology commonly used to protect data by distributing redundant data blocks across ...

  • Tier 0

    Tier 0 (tier zero) is a level of data storage that is faster, and perhaps more expensive, than any other level in the storage ...

  • PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive)

    A PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive) is a high-speed expansion card that attaches a computer to its peripherals.

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close