Hard drive symbolizes data breaches

3 huge data breaches from the last 12 months

It seems like you can’t watch the evening news without hearing about another data breach. In the past 12 months, some of the world’s largest organizations have become victims of cybercrime — and their customers have been forced to pick up the pieces.

To drive that point home, here’s a quick rundown of some of the biggest data breaches from the past year.

1. Uber

In November 2017, Uber revealed that hackers stole personal data — names, addresses, phone numbers, etc. — from its 57 million customers and drivers in a massive data breach from the previous year. The ride-sharing company had paid the thief $100,000 to keep the stolen data safe.

“When this happened, we took immediate steps to secure the data, shut down further unauthorized access and strengthen our data security,” said Uber on their website. “When we learned of the incident in November 2016, we took steps to contain and prevent harm, but we did not let drivers know. We think this was wrong.”

2. Yahoo!

In December 2017, Yahoo! experienced one of the largest data breaches in American history — involving more than 1 billion email accounts. After the attack, the company actively encouraged users to change their passwords.

“The investigation indicates that the user account information that was stolen did not include passwords in clear text, payment card data, or bank account information,” said Yahoo! in a statement.

To this day, it is still unknown who is responsible for the data breach.

3. Sears

Earlier this year, Sears notified its customers about a data breach that took place the previous fall. According to the company, less than 100,000 people were affected by the breach, and customers who owned Sears-branded credit cards did not have their information stolen. However, no one knew about the attack for almost six months, which isn’t exactly comforting.

“Data security is of critical importance to our company, and we take any matter related to our customers’ personal information very seriously,” said Sears in a statement. “Our top priority at this point is to quickly identify the impacted customers and notify and assist them in every way possible.”

Why should you care about these data breaches?

As a small business owner, you might think you are less of a target than the big brands named on this list. But every day, hackers searching for valuable customer data target small and medium-sized companies just like yours. That’s why it’s crucial to optimize your data security policies. If you fail to do so, you could jeopardize your business.

Research shows that data breaches cost organizations an average of $225 per record compromised. Is that a cost you’re willing to pay?

How to enhance your own data security

Hiring a managed security provider can minimize the chances of hackers stealing your data. These professionals will install the latest security updates and patches, monitor your systems for threats, and identify IT-related issues before they happen. As a result, you’re free to focus on other aspects of your business, and you can remain confident in your defenses.

Data breaches are becoming increasingly common, but SMBs are just as much at risk as big-name brands. However, hiring a managed security provider will provide you with the safeguards you need to keep your data safe. Click here to find out more.