What is Spillage in Cyber Security?

What is Spillage in Cyber Security?

Cyber security is a critical aspect of protecting your online presence and personal data. However, even the most secured networks can experience incidents known as spillage. What is spillage in cyber security, and what can you do to prevent it? Read on to find out.

What is Data Spillage?

Listen to our audio to get a simple definition of data spillage:

Data spillage is a form of data disclosure in which sensitive information that should be protected and secured is shared with unauthorized parties. This can happen as a result of human error or malicious intent.

Data spillage has become an increasing concern for businesses as more of their assets reside outside their organizations’ networks, which are vulnerable to attack. Many companies have been breached by hackers who have accessed sensitive data while building a backup of the data. Once the data is stolen, the perpetrator can use it to commit identity theft or share it with others for nefarious purposes.

Data Spillage Consequences

Data spillage can be costly to a company because it gives hackers access to critical information that they can use to their advantage. The following are some of the common consequences of data spillage:

Loss of Revenue

With data spillage, Businesses have experienced data breaches that could have allowed criminals to obtain customers’ credit card information or other personal information. This has led to “identity theft,” which occurs when a hacker acquires or steals information stored on a customer’s computer. According to studies, nearly 95% of data breaches that cost companies millions of dollars followed a pattern of around $30,000 in average outlay. In some instances, losses reached as high as $1.6 million.

Reputational Damage

Data spillage can also be costly for a company regarding its reputation. Hackers often use the information they gather to their advantage and engage in “competitive intelligence” to gain access to trade secrets that are accessible only through data on a company’s servers. Other forms of damage include the fact that victim companies may be unable to serve their customers because of identity theft.

Regulatory Sanction

Companies are required by law to safeguard their data and avoid data spillage. However, when they fail to do so, they can be sanctioned by regulatory agencies. For instance, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) imposes massive fines on companies that fail to secure consumer data. According to the GDPR, a breach leading to the loss of personal data can lead to a fine of up to 4% of a company’s annual revenue or 20 million Euros (whichever is greater).

Operational Disruption

In addition to the financial and regulatory consequences of data spillage, it can also cause operational disruptions for a company. Suppose data is leaked and exploits are used to Access Company or cloud servers. In that case, the hackers can steal files from those servers or even disable the systems, shutting down company operations.

Types of Data Spillage

Data spillage can happen due to human error in the transmission of records or because of the failure of systems to safeguard data. The following are some common types of data spillage:


In this type of data spillage, hackers steal information from networks and cloud servers without authorization.

Accidental Disclosure of Private Information

This is a type of data spillage in which data is disclosed unintentionally. For example, a worker might send an email to the wrong employee or post an internal memo on social media.

Data Storage and Transfer

Data spillage is possible because of how an organization stores and transfers data. Some cloud data storage systems may not be adequately secure, or they may be accessed by workers who are not authorized to access them.

How to Prevent Data Spillage

Data spillage is a common problem when a company doesn’t take proper precautions to secure data. Businesses need to take the following steps to prevent data spillage:

Restrict Data Access

To protect against data spillage, organizations should restrict access to their data. This is crucial for sensitive information that must be protected from unauthorized disclosure. Employees should have limited access to only specific parts of the data and should adhere to stringent security protocols when working with that information. Organizations should also encrypt as much data as possible, and only authorized personnel should have the keys necessary to decrypt it.

Encrypt Data

Encryption helps to prevent data from being compromised. Unauthorized access to sensitive data is prevented if the records are encrypted. Encapsulation is a common method of encrypting data, where two separate parts or files of information are used to hide the original data.

Employee Awareness

Sensitivity training is an important aspect of data protection because it can help employees understand why data has to be protected and the consequences of data spillage. Employees should also be trained to follow strict security protocols when working with sensitive information.


In conclusion, data spillage is a common problem business must deal with. Sensitive information can be compromised by hackers and other unauthorized parties, leading to expensive consequences for companies. To prevent data spillage, organizations should take the necessary steps to secure their data, including instituting policies and practices and training employees.