Revealed: The biggest cybersecurity breaches of past three years

Posted Jun 1, 2019 by Tim Sandle
A new report from Bitglass examines the biggest data breaches affecting companies from the last three years. This includes the Marriott breach of 2018, the Equifax breach of 2017 and the Yahoo! breach of 2016.
Philippe HUGUEN, AFP/File
For the report, Bitglass researched the three largest breaches of publicly traded companies from each of the last three years to uncover cybersecurity trends and demonstrate the extensive damage that can be done by improper security. the report is titled "Kings of the Monster Breaches."
Key insights from the report include the fact that publicly traded companies are suffering the worst data breaches, resulting in a a 7.5 percent decrease in stock price. In terms of the insider-outsider threat, each of the biggest breaches of the last three years were caused by external cybersecurity attacks.
In terms of the impact of the cyber-incidents, the report reveals that the mean number of individuals directly affected by each breach was 257 million. In terms of the financial, to date, these breaches have cost their companies an average of $347 million in legal fees, penalties, remediation costs and other expenses.
In terms of the main implications, there is a general tendency, outlined within the report, that shows how several major firms have underestimated the need to maintain security over their data and infrastructure as they migrated to the cloud. This has led to impacts on companies that handle personally identifiable information, protected health information, and payment card industry data.
Among the more serious breaches were the Marriott breach of 2018, the Equifax breach of 2017 and the Yahoo! breach of 2016. With the most recent Marriott incident, Digital Journal reported that the Marriott cyberattack exposed millions of customers to a loss of their personal data, including some payment card numbers, passport details, phone numbers and email addresses.
Vigilance is key, according to Rich Campagna, Chief Marketing Officer of Bitglass: "If massive companies with seemingly endless resources are falling victim to external attacks, then companies of all sizes must remain vigilant in their cybersecurity efforts. It is only by taking a proactive approach to security that breaches can be prevented and data can truly be kept safe."