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

SearchCompliance

SearchSecurity

  • cyber attack

    A cyber attack is any attempt to gain unauthorized access to a computer, computing system or computer network with the intent to ...

  • backdoor (computing)

    A backdoor is a means to access a computer system or encrypted data that bypasses the system's customary security mechanisms.

  • post-quantum cryptography

    Post-quantum cryptography, also called quantum encryption, is the development of cryptographic systems for classical computers ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • risk mitigation

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a business.

  • call tree

    A call tree is a layered hierarchical communication model that is used to notify specific individuals of an event and coordinate ...

  • Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

    Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) is the replication and hosting of physical or virtual servers by a third party to provide ...

SearchStorage

  • cloud SLA (cloud service-level agreement)

    A cloud SLA (cloud service-level agreement) is an agreement between a cloud service provider and a customer that ensures a ...

  • NOR flash memory

    NOR flash memory is one of two types of non-volatile storage technologies.

  • RAM (Random Access Memory)

    RAM (Random Access Memory) is the hardware in a computing device where the operating system (OS), application programs and data ...

Close