It seems every year or so, we hear of another large, high-profile data breach from a widely recognized company. If you’re curious about the potential reach of a single cyber attack, you might find these statistics interesting.

The largest data breaches of all time happened to:

  • Yahoo – 3 billion users affected
  • Yahoo – 500 million users affected
  • Adult Friend Finder – 412 million users affected
  • Marriott – 383 million customers affected
  • MySpace – 360 million users affected
  • Under Armour – 150 million customers affected
  • Equifax – 146 million consumers affected
  • Ebay – 145 million users affected
  • Target – 110 million customers affected
  • Heartland Payment Systems – 100 million consumers affected
  • LinkedIn – 100 million users affected
  • – 98 million users affected

Those numbers are impressive, but what was the fallout? The largest Yahoo breach, of 3 billion user accounts, affected the company’s net worth. When the details emerged during a buyout from Verizon, the purchase price was lowered by 350 million dollars. With retailers, the danger is obvious; customer credit card data was compromised. And for social sites like LinkedIn or the “dating” site AdultFriendFinder… Well, let’s just say that the fallout can become quite personal. Hackers gaining access to social media sites can be bad enough, but security breaches like these can also create situations in which personal blackmail is involved.

Looking at this data, you might think only large companies are targeted by hackers. But it can take many years of intense effort for a cyber criminal to hack into one of these systems. Yes, the payoff is potentially large, but the time frame and knowledge required present a challenge for all but the “best” hackers. That’s why many amateur and mid-level hackers prefer to target smaller and mid-sized businesses. Often, the security measures are much easier to overcome, and there is still plenty of sensitive data to gain.

And unfortunately, one rule is true for any size data breach: While hackers only need to gain access to your network via one weakened entry point, companies must cover all of their bases, all of the time, to prevent this from happening.

No matter the size of your company, a data breach is always possible. We’re available to help you identify all of those potential entry points, educate your employees, and safeguard your sensitive data using a comprehensive protection plan. Give us a call at 888-RING-MY-TECH, and we’ll be happy to answer your questions on internet security.