How many data breaches in 2018?

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Data breaches have become a common occurrence in today’s digital age, with millions of people falling victim to cyber-attacks every year. As we bid farewell to 2018, it’s time to reflect on the state of data security and how we can better protect ourselves moving forward. In this blog post, we’ll explore the number of data breaches that occurred in 2018 compared to previous years, the industries most affected by these incidents, and most importantly – how you can safeguard your personal information from being compromised. So buckle up and get ready for an eye-opening journey into the world of cyber-security!

844 data breaches in 2018

In 2018, there were a staggering 844 data breaches reported worldwide. This marked an increase from the previous year and highlights the pressing need for stronger security measures to protect our personal information.

These breaches ranged in severity, with some only affecting small businesses while others compromised millions of users’ sensitive data. From social media platforms to healthcare organizations and financial institutions, no industry was immune to these attacks.

One notable incident that dominated headlines was the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal. The breach allowed Cambridge Analytica access to tens of millions of Facebook users’ personal data without their consent – a clear violation of privacy rights.

While cyber-attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated and prevalent, there are steps we can take as individuals to minimize our risk of falling victim. Stay vigilant about suspicious activity on your accounts, use strong passwords, and consider investing in anti-virus software or password managers.

As technology continues to advance at lightning speed, it’s crucial that we prioritize our digital safety just as much as our physical well-being.

3,676 in 2017

In 2017, there were a staggering 3,676 data breaches reported. This number is alarming and shows that cyber attacks are becoming more common and sophisticated each year.

Many factors contribute to the increase in data breaches. One factor is the rise of cloud computing and internet-connected devices. These technologies create new avenues for hackers to exploit vulnerabilities and access sensitive information.

Another factor is human error or negligence. Employees may inadvertently expose confidential information by clicking on phishing emails or leaving their computers unlocked.

The consequences of a data breach can be devastating for individuals, companies, and even governments. Personal information such as social security numbers, credit card details, and medical records can be stolen during a data breach. This type of information can then be used maliciously by criminals for identity theft or other illegal activities.

In addition to financial loss from fraud or lawsuits arising from the breach itself, companies also suffer reputational damage which can impact their long-term success.

It’s important for both individuals and organizations to take measures to prevent these types of attacks from happening in order to protect themselves in the digital age we live in today.

3,032 in 2016

In 2016, there were a total of 3,032 data breaches reported. This number is significantly lower compared to the previous year’s record of 3,676 incidents. However, it still reflects the alarming trend of increasing cybersecurity threats.

One possible reason for this decrease in reported breaches could be attributed to the increased awareness and implementation of security measures by businesses and organizations. The rise in cyberattacks has forced many companies to prioritize their cybersecurity protocols and invest more resources into protecting their sensitive data.

Despite this progress, it’s important to note that even one successful breach can have devastating consequences for an organization. The cost of a data breach goes beyond financial damages as it can affect customer trust and overall reputation.

The types of data breaches vary from human error to sophisticated cyberattacks such as malware or phishing scams. Thus, prevention requires comprehensive strategies including employee training on best practices when handling sensitive information and regular software updates.

While the decrease in reported breaches may seem like a positive sign for cybersecurity efforts in 2016, vigilance must remain high as technology continues evolving along with new methods used by hackers to exploit vulnerabilities.

2,447 in 2015

2015 saw a total of 2,447 data breaches which exposed millions of sensitive records. The year marked the beginning of a trend that would continue to rise in the following years. The primary cause for these breaches was hacking and malware attacks followed by human error.

Healthcare organizations were hit hard in 2015 with Anthem Inc., Premera Blue Cross and Excellus Health Plan among those targeted. Retailers also suffered from significant breaches including CVS, Kmart, and Michaels Stores. These incidents resulted in millions of customer records being compromised.

The high-profile data breaches during this period highlighted the need for greater security measures to be implemented across various industries. Many companies began investing heavily in cybersecurity technologies while others improved their employee training programs to prevent future data losses.

It is clear that the growing number of data breaches has made it essential for businesses to prioritize cybersecurity efforts more than ever before. In today’s digital world where information is power, no organization can afford to take chances when it comes to protecting sensitive information from cybercriminals who are always looking for vulnerabilities they can exploit.

The cost of data breaches

Data breaches can have severe financial implications for businesses. The cost of data breaches is not just limited to the loss of customer trust but also includes the cost of investigating and fixing the breach, legal settlements, and regulatory fines. According to a report by IBM Security and Ponemon Institute, the average total cost of a data breach in 2018 was $3.86 million.

The actual cost varies depending on various factors like company size, industry sector, type of data compromised and so on. Small businesses may be at higher risk as they often lack sophisticated security measures or an IT department that can respond effectively to such incidents.

Furthermore, companies must consider indirect costs such as reputational damage which could lead to losing customers or difficulty attracting new ones. A business’s reputation takes years to build; one instance of data breach can ruin it overnight.

It is important for businesses to implement proactive measures like regular security assessments and employee training programs that address cybersecurity risks. Investing in strong encryption technologies and advanced threat detection tools will help reduce financial losses associated with a potential data breach.

In summary, it’s essential that companies understand the true costs involved with a data breach incident beyond immediate impact – this knowledge will motivate them to invest in securing their systems against any types of cyber attacks that might threaten their business survival long term

The types of data breaches

Data breaches can occur in different ways, and understanding the types of data breaches is essential to prevent them. One type of data breach is a phishing attack, where cybercriminals send fraudulent emails or messages that appear legitimate to trick individuals into providing sensitive information.

Another type is malware attacks, where hackers use malicious software to gain unauthorized access to systems and networks. This can include viruses, ransomware, spyware, and other forms of malware. Similarly, brute force attacks involve trying multiple login credentials until one works.

Unsecured databases are also a common cause of data breaches. These occur when organizations fail to implement proper security protocols for their databases containing sensitive information such as passwords or credit card numbers.

Physical theft or loss of devices containing confidential information also results in data breaches. Losing laptops or smartphones that contain sensitive material could put companies at risk if they do not have proper encryption methods in place.

Staying up-to-date with the latest forms of cyber threats and implementing robust cybersecurity measures is crucial for businesses today.

The industries most affected by data breaches

Data breaches can occur in any industry, but some are more susceptible than others. The healthcare industry is one of the most affected by data breaches due to the sensitive and valuable information they store such as patient records and insurance details. In 2018, there were several high-profile data breaches in the healthcare sector including Anthem’s breach affecting nearly 80 million customers.

The financial services industry also faces a significant risk of data breaches because they hold large amounts of personal and financial information about their clients. Cybercriminals target banks, credit card companies and other financial institutions for this reason. In 2018 alone, major banks like HSBC and Bank of Montreal reported data breaches that potentially compromised customer accounts.

Government agencies are another prime target for hackers looking to steal sensitive information such as classified documents or personal identifiable information (PII). The US Department of Defense faced an embarrassing incident when it was revealed that contractors had stolen sensitive military secrets through network vulnerabilities.

Retailers also face significant risks with customer payment card details being a primary target. Major retailers have experienced massive data breaches over recent years including Target’s notorious breach back in 2013 which exposed millions of customer credit card numbers.

It is clear that no industry is safe from cyber attacks, making it essential for all organizations to take proactive measures to prevent them from happening.

How to prevent a data breach

Preventing a data breach is essential for protecting sensitive and confidential information. Here are some tips to help prevent data breaches:

1. Implement strong passwords: Encourage employees to use unique, complex passwords that are changed regularly.

2. Train your staff: Educate your team on how to identify phishing scams, suspicious emails, and other potential threats.

3. Update software regularly: Ensure that all software is updated with the latest security patches and fixes.

4. Limit access: Only allow authorized individuals access to sensitive information or areas of your network.

5. Use encryption: Encrypting data provides an extra layer of protection against hackers who may intercept it during transmission.

6. Back up critical data frequently: Regularly back up important files in case of a breach or loss of data due to system failures or disasters.

7. Develop an incident response plan: Have a plan in place for responding quickly and effectively if a breach does occur.

By taking these steps, you can help reduce the risk of a costly and damaging data breach in your organization while maintaining the integrity of sensitive information.


Data breaches have become a common occurrence in recent years, with thousands of incidents reported every year. In 2018 alone, there were a staggering 844 data breaches. These numbers are concerning and highlight the need for greater security measures to protect sensitive information.

The cost of data breaches can be significant when you factor in lost revenue, legal fees, and reputational damage. It’s important for businesses to take precautions against potential threats by implementing robust security protocols and training employees on best practices.

There are various types of data breaches ranging from simple human error to malicious attacks from cybercriminals. The industries most affected by these attacks include healthcare, finance, and retail.

Preventing data breaches is essential for any organization that values its customer’s privacy and trust. Investing in cybersecurity infrastructure such as firewalls or antivirus software is crucial but educating employees on proper security protocols is equally important.

The number of data breaches continues to rise each year indicating that more needs to be done regarding cybersecurity measures. Organizations must act fast before it’s too late; the consequences can not only affect their bottom line but also compromise customer trust leading them towards significant financial losses due to lawsuits filed against them by customers whose personal information has been compromised during these attacks.

Melina Richardson
Melina Richardson is a Cyber Security Enthusiast, Security Blogger, Technical Editor, Certified Ethical Hacker, Author at Cybers Guards. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.