SOCRadar® Cyber Intelligence Inc. | What are the Top Ten Data Breaches of All Times?


May 06, 2022
5 Mins Read

What are the Top Ten Data Breaches of All Times?

In the cyber world that grows and develops with cumulative data accumulation, “small” and short-term data breaches that we think we can ignore from time to time may cause a crisis beyond our estimations. Unlike a temporary terrorist attack, data breaches can cause critical reputational losses for the people, institutions, organizations, and states. 

Even if you do not use technological products or social media platforms, you may encounter a data breach that may affect you at any moment of your daily life due to the technical and modern universe you live in.

What is a Data Breach?

Data breaches are one of the most common cyber security incidents.
Data breaches are one of the most common cyber security incidents.

It can be defined as the situation in which any data belonging to a person, institution, organization, or government is captured and disclosed by an unauthorized person. Data breached files can be viewed and shared without permission. 

There are two important points to note about a data breach. As individuals can be the data breach target, advanced institutions and governments can also be victims of data breaches. In addition, the data breach will not be limited to the targeted victim. For example, even in a data breach that you think is individually affected, there may be other victims affected by you and by you. 

The data breach, which spreads in direct proportion to the developing technology and user behaviors, can target us at every point of our lives with many smart home devices today. 

How Do Data Breaches Occur? 

  • An insider: In an example where the technological equipment necessary for the job is used together in an institution or organization, both parties are innocent. However, this may not prevent a data breach from occurring. 
  • Malicious person: A malicious person who knowingly and willingly accesses and leaks data from an institution or organization and causes a data breach. 
  • Lost and stolen devices: These devices are always a clear target for data breaches. 
  • Hackers: malware or illegal attacks and terrorism. All of these can be considered unavoidable causes that pave the way for data breaches from time to time.

What is the Purpose of Data Breach? 

As with all other cyber-attacks, the purpose of data breaches can be financial gain or terrorism. When hackers do enough research on their targets, they target victims at their weakest spots. These security weaknesses can often be basic or inadequate security measures, weak passwords, phishing, or phishing. 

Let’s take a look at ten major data breaches affecting the financial services industry; 

Ten Biggest Data Breaches in Financial Service 

  1. Equifax, Inc.: 143 Million Accounts in the US And 400,000 in the UK 
  2. Heartland Payment Systems: 130 Million Customers 
  3. Trw Information Systems and Sears: 90 Million Individuals 
  4. Jpmorgan Chase: 76 Million Households + 7 Million Small Businesses 
  5. Cardsystems Solutions, Inc.: 40 Million Credit Card Accounts 
  6. Korea Credit Bureau: 20 Million South Koreans 
  7. Data Processors International: 8 Million Credit Card Numbers 
  8. Checkfree Corp.: 5 Million Customers 
  9. Educational Credit Management Corp.: 3.3 Million Accounts 
  10. Citifinancial: 3.9 Million Accounts 

Essential Statistics About Data Breaches in Finance Sector

Finance is one of the industries most affected by data breaches.
Finance is one of the industries most affected by data breaches.

E-commerce data breaches, which are at the top of our list, constitute 80% of the investigations related to payment methods. When we look at the number of data breaches in the past years, we see that data breaches related to payment cards have increased in parallel with the increasing online habits of consumers. When we look at the concept of “motivation in data breaches,” which we mentioned at the beginning of our blog, in numbers, we see that 71% of data breaches are for financial gain.

So, what does this financial gain motivation mean for brands? Research shows that cyberattacks affect banks financially the most. Although serious investments are made for security measures in the financial sector, unfortunately, the attacks cause financial losses and loss of reputation. So how does this data breach happen? Perhaps the most frightening research on financial data breach statistics shows us how insecure we are.

According to Positive Technologies’ security report, 92% of ATMs are vulnerable to attacks. So, what does a data breach cost on average? In a study conducted by IBM, an average data breach is $3.92 million. In contrast, the average data breach is 8.19 million dollars in the USA, where the average data breach is the most expensive. 

How Many Precautions Do We Take? 

With the increasing awareness of cybersecurity in a changing and developing world, medium-sized and small businesses and substantial companies continue to understand this issue. Cyber security measures and solutions, for which large financial budgets are allocated, can be neutralized with elementary mistakes, as we mentioned above. As a result, it is the attention and responsibility of both large companies and individuals to take precautions against data breaches.

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