Top data breaches from 2016

Posted 12.23.16 by

Data leakIn a world where the Internet of Things is growing exponentially, attackers are exploiting vulnerabilities in systems every day, and data breaches are constantly announced, cybersecurity has been top of mind. Here’s a look at some of the biggest data breaches from 2016 as well as some honorable mentions from 2015.

Yahoo: The company suffered two breaches this year, announcing thefts in September and December. The latest breach may be the biggest of all time, as Yahoo is estimating 1 billion accounts may be compromised. Yahoo believes someone illegally accessed the company’s code to make forged cookies, although that is not certain.

SWIFT: In February, attackers used malware to hack into the company’s software and steal $81 million from the Bangladesh Bank. The Belgium-based cooperative of 3,000 organizations maintains a messaging platform that banks use to move money internationally. Of the $81 million stolen, only $6.9 was believed to be recoverable.

Anthem: In February of 2015, Anthem announced it had suffered a massive data breach, exposing more than 78 million records and compromising 18.8 million non-patient records as well. It is the largest healthcare data breach to date. The company is still feeling the effects, as customers filed several class-action lawsuits, which were headed to trial. Even one year later, details about the attack are still scarce.

Premera: Another Blue Cross Blue Shield company, Premera was breached in March 2015, exposing 11 million patient records. Class action suits were also filed against Premera, and the company admitted that medical and financial information may have been compromised.

IRS: The Internal Revenue Service announced in late February that the breach they initially discovered in May 2015 was much larger than estimated—by about seven times. The agency believes Russia was responsible for the theft of about 700,000 Americans’ records, which they believe will be used to file fraudulent tax returns in the future.

Premier Healthcare: A laptop stolen in March caused headaches for the Bloomington, Ind. organization, who had to notify 200,000 patients that their information may have been compromised. The stolen laptop was protected with a password, but it was not encrypted.

Organizations are making cybersecurity a top priority now more than ever, but it’s a constant battle of attrition. Remember to follow basic security procedures to keep your company from being another statistic.

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