At the start of 2018, eBay was scrambling to recover from its 145 million user data breach and Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal was just beginning to make headlines. Unfortunately, cybersecurity incidents did not slow down as the year progressed. 2018 brought unprecedented amounts of security issues to the forefront of consumer knowledge, leaving businesses and individuals more on edge about their online security than ever.
Here’s a look at the most important cybersecurity events of this year.
Cybersecurity by the Numbers in 2018
Before we get to the breaches themselves, let’s take a quick look at 2018’s cybersecurity stats. Refresh your memory on a few of the biggest breaches of 2017, then consider these numbers for 2018:
- 945 data breaches and 4.5 million records were breached between January and October 2018
- Breaches were primarily in the healthcare (27 percent) and financial industries (14 percent)
- $7.91 Million was the average cost of a data breach to a U.S.-based company
- 92.4 percent of malware was delivered by email
- Ransomware attacks have grown 350 percent annually
- 60 million Americans were affected by identity theft
- Companies take an average of 191 days to realize there’s been a breach
- $15 Billion is budgeted for cybersecurity in the U.S. government
Biggest Data Breaches of 2018
Of course, statistics are no substitute for examples of how data breaches have impacted companies in 2018. Here are five of the most notable cybersecurity hacks of the year.
- 5 Million Record Breach of Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor
In April, Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor retail stores were victims of a security breach that compromised the information of more than five million customer credit cards.
- 150 Million User Breach of Under Armour’s “My Fitness Pal” App
In May, Under Armour’s “My Fitness Pal” app experienced a breach that affected 150 million users. Usernames, email addresses and passwords were breached, but credit card and biometric data were not compromised.
- 2 Million Record Breach of Adidas
In June, Adidas reported a data-security breach that involved two million customers. User data, including contact information, usernames and passwords, were captured by cybercriminals. User credit card information was not breached.
- 50 Million User Breach of Facebook
In September, Facebook experienced its biggest breach yet when hackers took over user accounts by exploiting a feature in Facebook’s code. Demographic information like gender, hometown, name and birthday of 50 million users was breached.
- 700,000 Credit Card User Breach of American Express India
In November, the data of 700,000 American Express India customers was exposed in an unsecured server, which was left online without a password. The records were unencrypted and stolen in plaintext, accessible to anyone who found the database.
As aggressively as companies and government bodies are working to prevent and address cybersecurity issues, data breaches are still on the rise. It’s partly an issue of size, as companies are now storing so much data that – without the right technology in place – it is nearly impossible to manage and protect. But it’s also an issue of evolution, as the technology behind cybercrime evolves and creates a moving target for cybersecurity experts. If you don’t want to be the next victim, we suggest you take cybercrime seriously in 2019.