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Defrag This

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Looking Back at 2017's Biggest Data Breaches

Jeff Edwards| December 22 2017

| security


2017 will go down in the history books as the year that data breaches became mainstream news. From the WannaCry attacks to Equifax, it seems like there's a new breach in the headlines every week. 

In terms of sheer volume of records compromised, 2017 wasn't a record-breaking year—that dubious distinction belongs to 2013, when the Yahoobreach alone exposed 3 billion credentials—but you'd be hard-pressed to find a year where cybersecurity weighed more heavily on our public consciousness than 2017. And for good reason. 

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Millions of Records Breached Every Day

Data breach activity was high in 2017, with 1,202 breaches in the 11 months alone, according to a report from the Identity Theft Resource Center. That's up 10 percent from the 1,093 breaches recording during the entirety of 2016.

An average of 5,076,479 data records was lost or stolen every day, according to the Breach Level Index (BLI). That’s 211,520 records an hour or 3,525 per minute.

And, despite the headlines, it's not just governments and massive businesses that are being targeted. In fact,  61% of data breach victims in Verizon’s 2017 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) are businesses with under 1,000 employees. 

The cost of all those breaches? An average of $3.62 million, according to the 2017 Cost of Data Breach Study from Ponemon and IBM.

The Worst Data Breaches of 2017

In the infographic below, we break down the biggest and baddest breaches of 2017, which we've also discussed in our podcast, Defrag This

Inclusion in this list is based not on the number of records compromised, but on how much risk or damage the breach caused for targeted businesses, organizations, or users. 



Topics: security

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Jeff Edwards is a tech writer and analyst with three years of experience covering Information Security and IT. Jeff has written on all things cybersecurity, from APTs to zero-days, and previously worked as a reporter covering Boston City Hall.

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