The next major breach is innevitable, and the numbers affected are only growing.
If we are honest, the news of a data breach no longer comes with a shock, as they are happening on a more and more regular basis in the UK and globally.
In light of this increasing regularity and severity there was a broad selection to choose from when formulating this list of five of the worst, and we have aimed to include landmark instances that span recent years.
A clear change is evident in reflection on previous years, as cybersecurity awareness is only now beginning to reach people more widely. It is now essential that all people have a degree of understanding when it comes to maintaining their own security.
With GDPR on the horizon and a major talking point in the UK, for organisations it is no longer a matter of ‘should’ when it comes to learning about security and implementing data protection measures. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will now land in mere months, and organisations cannot afford to be complacent.
Looking back on these major breaches is also in determining whether the time is right for passwords to stand aside and allow biometrics to take over, meaning that vast password caches were not placed in one spot, waiting to be stolen.
The data breach experienced by payday loan company, Wonga, this year was a landmark incident that left up to a quarter of a million customers vulnerable through the loss of critical personal information.
Up to 245,000 could have been affected with home addresses, phone numbers, bank account numbers, sort codes, and full names among the breached data
In a statement on the incident, Wonga said this: “We take issues of customer data and security extremely seriously. Cyber attacks are, unfortunately, on the rise. While Wonga operates to the highest security standards, these illegal attacks are unfortunately increasingly sophisticated. We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience and concern this has caused.”
Wonga made no excuse, simply explaining that they had all of the cyber security precautions and defences in place, but were victim to increasingly sophisticated attackers.
The message here is one that is being shared widely, that no one can guarantee security at this moment in time, making the battle one of mitigation rather than the castle walls and drawbridge of the last cyber security era.
This high profile attack is one of many influential instances that have raised awareness to cyber security, encouraging organisations to leave no stone unturned in their cyber security plans.