A security incident is any attempted or successful unauthorised access to systems and devices, software, or data. This can lead to the attacker accessing, disclosing or leaking, modifying, blocking, or destroying your information.

We’re susceptible to cyber threats at work and at home. While the tips in this guide help prevent cyberattacks in both our personal and public life, criminals constantly change tactics.

And when attacks happen at work, the consequences can be devastating—potentially resulting in a substantial financial or reputational loss. So, it’s best to act fast if the worst-case scenario ever happens.


There are two general categories of security incidents: cyber threats and physical threats.

Cyber Threats
Physical Threats
Essentials Top Tip: ACT FAST

Cyber and physical attacks have equal potential to harm businesses. That’s why it’s essential to address them quickly—to prevent or control the damage.

reporting a security incident

Some people feel embarrassed to report a threat or think it’s “no big deal.” But it’s vital to report security incidents quickly to reduce their potential impact. Whether it’s a lost USB drive or a suspicious pop-up, security teams can quickly assess the threat. Ignoring it can have a severe business impact and can result in:

Legal Risks – Breach of sensitive information exposes us to litigation, fines, and high-cost settlements.

Reputation – Security incidents can lead to data breaches that negatively impact our reputation and brand.

Financial Loss – Cybercriminals can profit from stolen financial resources or sensitive information. Recovery-associated costs like insurance, infrastructure damage recovery, and outside consultant fees only worsen those effects.

Business Interruption – Successful attacks could slow or stop our business and client services. Interrupted service can further compound cash flow issues.

How Do I Report a Security Incident?

If you suspect online or physical exposure, you must closely follow your company’s internal Cyber Security Policy and response guide. If you don’t know what this is, speak to your IT department/provider.