The number of cyber attacks are increasing year on year and no business is safe. While large multinationals end up with big bills and suffer PR crises, smaller organisations could incur crippling costs that could put them out of business.

Some of the biggest data breaches of 2019 have resulted in hundreds of millions of people’s data being compromised but businesses of all sizes need to take the threat seriously, educate employees and put in place measures such as next generation firewalls so they don’t expose themselves to risk.

Here are some of the biggest breaches from 2019 so far.

Facebook caught up in another breach

Data leak: 419 million

Facebook has been in the news for all the wrong reasons this year with multiple data breaches and leaks following the Cambridge Analytica controversy.

The latest confirmed leak involved the phone numbers linked to 419 million user accounts. Databases containing phone numbers, Facebook account IDs and some user’s names, gender and location were found to be unprotected by any password. Meaning that anyone looking for the data could find and access it without any security measures in place.

Although Facebook says they are working on improving their cyber security, repeated data breaches continue to be a PR nightmare for the company and don’t allay the fears of those users who are concerned with their privacy being compromised. 

Over 100m Capital One customers affected

Data leak: 106 million

Back in March, a tech company software engineer was able to access over 100 million Capital One customer’s accounts and credit card applications by exploiting a misconfigured web application firewall.

Among the personal data exposed were names, addresses, dates of birth, credit scores, transaction data, Social Security numbers and linked bank account numbers.

With costs coming from customer notifications, credit monitoring, tech costs and legal support, this hack could end up costing the company between $100-$150 million. 

Bulgaria’s tax agency targeted in biggest ever data leak

Data leak: 5 million

Bulgaria suffered the country’s biggest ever data leak with the personal data of 5 million people being breached. With a total population of 7 million, this breach affected over 70% of its citizens. 

The leak originated from the country’s tax reporting service – the National Revenue Agency (NRA) – and included personal identifiable numbers, addresses, and even income data.

You have to question the level of cyber security that was in place when the hackers were so bold as to include the following quote in an email: “The state of your cyber-security is a parody.”

What can we learn from these data hacks?

Only the biggest and most devastating cyber attacks make the headlines, but that’s not the whole story. UK businesses are facing one cyber attack every 50 seconds so no one is safe from cyber thieves and smaller businesses can’t afford to become complacent when it comes to protecting their cyber security.

From network security assessments to our ongoing vulnerability management service, if you’re worried about your cyber security, get in touch with our cyber specialists and see how we can help.