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Mitchell Gross
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Major Data Breaches Continue to Plague Big Data Companies

In the last six years, major companies in the US have experienced large data breaches. Hackers have been able to exploit vulnerabilities and compromise personal and sensitive information; such as credit and debit card numbers, social security, and personally identifiable information. Cybersecurity can help you protect your personal data, customers data, and business data from cyber-attacks. Here are some of the major companies that have been affected by cyber breaches: Capital One, Equifax, Marriot, Facebook, Anthem, and Yahoo.

              

  1. Capital One just recently suffered a data breach in late July that affected 100 million people comprised of 100 million credit card applications, 140,000 social security numbers and 80,000 bank account numbers. Capital One claims no credit card numbers or log in details were exposed but personally identifiable information was leaked.
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  1. Equifax suffered the largest data breach of 2017 affecting 143 million people. Hackers stole customer names, social security numbers, birth dates and addresses over a three-month period. In addition, hackers were able to grab 209,000 credit card numbers and 182,000 documents containing more personal information. Equifax agreed to pay those affected between $575 million to $700 million.

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  2. Marriott was affected by malware through their Starwood hotels group they purchased in 2014. This is a case of hackers going after a smaller organization to affect a larger organization. It was revealed in November 2018 that a four-year hacking campaign had happened. 383 million people were affected and their names, addresses, phone numbers, credit card information, passport numbers, and email addresses were compromised.  
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  3. The Cambridge analytical scandal on Facebook is a very famous cyber breach for how the data was used. Researchers misused political advertising data during the 2016 US presidential election, and it was determined that the data company was linked to president Donald Trump. The major issue here is using the data from Facebook against its purpose to help campaign for a presidential candidate
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  4. In 2015, hackers attacked Anthem Insurance and gathered names, birth dates, member ID, social security numbers, addresses of more than 80 million current and former employees. Anthem had to pay $115 million to settle the data breach lawsuit.
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  5. Yahoo was a very relevant player and when they were hit with a breach it affected their user base, all users were urged to change their login details. They reported in 2017 that all 3 billion accounts were compromised leaking names, emails, address, phone numbers, dates of birth, passwords, and security questions. They were attacked by a for hire Russian hacker who was placed in jail and had to pay fines. In addition to his punishment, yahoo had to pay 50 million in damages and provide credit monitoring to those affected.

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The companies listed above may be large companies worth seeking out for their large amounts of data, but attacks can happen to any company and when you least expect it. In the world of cybersecurity there is a common saying, it is not if your company will experience a breach but rather when will your company experience a breach. Having the right security measures and cyber liability insurance in place helps to mitigate and reduce cyber risk while also lowering the cost involved to remedy the effects of the cyber breaches or attacks.

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