What were the top 10 largest data breaches of the year?

8 Dec 2017

Data breaches were all too common in 2017. Image: marokos/Shutterstock

2017 is drawing to a close, and it hasn’t exactly been a banner year for good cybersecurity practices.

In today’s interconnected world, where data is a more valuable commodity than ever, the scale and quantity of major data breaches has been staggering in 2017.

Look at the Equifax breach in September, which saw more than 145m US customers’ data and 700,000 credentials belonging to UK users stolen, including social security numbers; or Instagram, which saw the contact information of 6m of its users accessed by hackers.

Learn from the mistakes of 2017

As digital transformation sits high atop the to-do list of enterprises, from start-ups to massive multinationals, companies certainly have made a broad variety of mistakes that others can learn from.

From leaving unencrypted data on unsecured cloud server containers, to neglecting to carry out regular data hygiene practices such as using strong passwords and two-factor authentication, there have been plenty of lessons that will hopefully result in more stringent cybersecurity and data management processes.

IoT devices are also providing CIOs and CSOs with more cybersecurity loopholes to fill, with a ForeScout survey finding that the majority of firms are concerned about the increased number of attack vectors IoT devices bring to a workplace, or indeed any other organisation.

Poor cybersecurity doesn’t just affect businesses

As we have unfortunately learned, poor data practices also extend to the world’s political IT infrastructures, with several UK MPs recently coming under fire for lax attitudes towards password sharing, which could in theory be jeopardising confidential government data.

And that’s just what we know so far.

In short, there will be a long list of 2018 resolutions on the cards for any entity that takes its cybersecurity responsibilities seriously.

Top10VPN put together an infographic of the largest data breaches of the year and, when you look at the figures all in one place, it’s not pretty.

Infographic: Top10VPN

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects