The Most Dangerous Data Breaches

Cyber crime is on an upward projector, especially during the pandemic. This is mainly because most people spent more time on their digital machines during the pandemic shopping, browsing, reading, purchasing, and watching videos. This automatically means more personal data being uploaded on a daily basis.

In 2021, we witnessed horrifying data breach instances that should worry any serious business. While in 2021 we didn’t reach the dizzying heights of 2017, where reports show that there were more than 1,529 data breaches reported, including the biggest act of cyber crime in the world, we have nothing to smile about. Among these 2017 data breaches, the ones that made headlines were Equifax, Yahoo, and Uber.

According to a report by Symantec on the most dangerous data breaches of 2017, we have:

·        Equifax – 143 million records breached

·         Yahoo – 1 billion accounts breached

·         Uber – 57 million accounts breached

However, to see what happened last year and learn about the most effective prevention methods, scroll down!

Security Risk Factors of 2021

In 2021, there was a noticeable shift in data security. The most common security risks were with 3rd party flaws, spear phishing, undetected security gaps, and ransomware. Human errors were the main causes of security gaps that set the pace for cyber criminals.


Ransomware is one of the most common cyber attacks that blocks data or devices until a specific demand is met. In most instances, it’s a financial ransom that must be paid. The hackers will encrypt or lock down the victim’s files, usually a business, and then set a ransom that must be paid. Over the last few years, these kinds of attacks have become increasingly common, and it's something to be aware of in 2022. This kind of attack was responsible for most data breaches last year, according to reports.

Spear Phishing

This refers to an email containing a link or attachment with malicious code or malware attached, which appears to be from an official sender but actually is not. This type of attack was on the rise during 2016 and 2017, according to Symantec's report on the most dangerous data breaches of 2017.

Malicious software (malware) infections are more likely in 2022 than they were in 2014.

Here, we have listed some of the most horrific data breaches in the world that have ever happened.

The Most Dangerous Data Breaches of 2021

Microsoft Software Caused Data Breach

On March 1st, 2021, Microsoft Software crashed and affected more than 300,000 organizations in the U.S. The whole attack was executed by a Chinese hacking group known as Hafnium. The attack wasn't directed specifically at Microsoft, but it ended up affecting many government agencies, companies, and small organizations.

The attack occurred because of a security flaw in Windows Server 2008 R2, which was exploited by the hackers.

This is one of the worst data breaches of all time that has affected millions of individuals across the world. In March 2021, this malicious software caused extreme damage to many individuals and organizations.

Facebook Data Breach

The Facebook Data Breach of March 2021 is one of the biggest data breaches that has ever happened. This was the largest data breach of all time and affected millions of individuals across the world. The problem began in 2019 and wasn’t discovered until 2021. This incident exposed more than 533 million users’ personal information to hackers. The attack was very sophisticated, and the hackers were able to cover their tracks very well.

This data breach was brought to the limelight when the criminals imported data from Facebook using misconfiguration in the data importer. It is still unclear what the criminals wanted to do with this information.

Facebook identified this as an external attack and resolved the problem. They assumed that this attack was executed as a social engineering attack.

First American Financial Corp.

In 2019, an American financial group named First American Financial Corp. had more than 885 million records exposed to hackers, making this one of the worst cyber breaches in history.

This cyber breach was a result of an insecure server that was used by First American. This led to all financial records being exposed to hackers, who were able to gain access to these records and transfer them out in secret.

This attack affected many financial institutions across the U.S. and even affected other countries where First American Financial Corp. has operations. It’s still unknown what happened with this data after it was exposed.

Colonial Pipeline

In May 2021, the Colonial Pipeline in the U.S. was a victim of a ransomware attack. This company operates a gasoline business in Texas.

The attack was executed by a group of hackers who were able to steal personal information from Colonial Pipeline's servers and upload it onto their own servers. The data they extracted included social security numbers, credit card details, and even financial information like bank account details.

This cyber breach is one of the biggest crimes ever committed against an organization, and it is still not known what exactly happened with the data after it was exposed outside Colonial Pipeline's control.

The attackers in this case executed this scheme through a VPN account from a single compromised password. This forced the company to halt fuel shipping to most parts of the country. Fortunately, the operational technology systems were not affected.

Data Breach Prevention

Now that we better understand some of the most notorious data breaches in history, it’s important to talk about a few of the best practices to prevent these attacks from happening.

Have an Incident Response Plan in Place

Organizations must have an incident response plan in place. An incident response plan should include a way of collecting evidence from the compromised system and a way of notifying the responsible parties about the incident when it occurs.

This will help take care of any damage that has already been done and prevent further damage from happening.

Take Care of Your Passwords

A password is a very important part of any IT system, as it is how these systems are secured. It is also the way in which the system can be accessed. Customer data is the most expensive commodity nowadays, thus it needs to be shielded correctly. With Helpy security walls, you can rest assured that your company data will stay only yours!

Helpy password, multi factor-authentication, captcha and honeypot features guarantee the maximum data safety you were looking for. The most important thing to remember about passwords is that they should be unique and kept safe.

Data Breach Insurance

A third-best practice is to take out some sort of insurance. This can be either a data breach insurance or cyber insurance.

This can help cover any losses that you might incur in case of a data breach or a cyber attack. It could also help in recovering your business if you have suffered any losses because of it.

Another important measure is staying up to date with the latest cyber security trends. One way of doing this is by subscribing to blogs, newsletters, and publications that keep you updated on the latest news and developments in the field, and also by subscribing to forums where experts discuss these topics in detail.

This will keep you informed on the latest cyber happenings and help you see how these updates can be used in your own security systems.

Educate All Employees About Cyber Security

The last best practice is to educate all employees about cyber security. This can be done by providing them with training, internal knowledge base, or with a handbook that deals with the latest cyber security trends.

This can help raise awareness about cyber security and educate them so that they are able to spot any suspicious activity on their systems. This will make it easier for you to detect any potential threats and reduce the chances of these threats being successful.

In conclusion, we have discussed some of the most common cyber attacks that have ever happened and the best practices in preventing cyber attacks and data breaches. It is always advisable to make sure that you’ve invested in some of the best data protection software and skills. Your employees need to be aware of data breaches and cyber crimes while always making sure their personal data is protected.

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