2021’s First Quarter Data Leaks Exceed 5-Billion

29 Jun

The first quarter of 2021 seems to be off to a good start – for cybercriminals, that is. According to new reports on Hackmageddon, the first few months of the year have been plagued with cyberattacks and data leaks, with February being the worst month of them all. While January had the most cyberattacks, 23 to be exact, February’s attacks (12 of them) resulted in the most significant data losses, with 3.4 billion records being breached.

An astounding 1.4 billion records were breached in January. Still, in February, when the COMB data leak was reported, it was found that nearly 70% of the world’s population was affected. That’s a lot of people! Before you start Google searching the “COMB data leak,” it actually refers to a “Combination of Many Breaches”, which was really the only way the researchers could compile and look at the breaches as a whole!

january & February data leaks

Research shows that data breached in January and February 2021, was a combination of emails and passwords that had been leaked before. These were the sign-in details of major sites, including the likes of LinkedIn and Netflix. Once the hackers had the information, they shared it with their hacker buddies on a hacking forum!

March must be the month that most hackers take their annual leave (sarcasm intended) because, during the month of March, only 153 billion records were breached, making it the quietest month of the year to date.

The award for the biggest data breach of the year thus far goes to Facebook. One fifth of their entire user network was recently affected in a data breach – leaving 533 million people exposed to hackers.

how can businesses protect themselves?

With data breaches as much on the rise in South Africa as the world over, downloading a free version of security software simply isn’t going to do enough to protect your business and its clients (and your employees too).

Industry professionals advise that businesses hire cybersecurity professionals who know what they are doing. Once you have your cybersecurity mechanisms in place, test them out because if you don’t, cybercriminals will. And they will find the weaknesses in your system and take advantage of them.

education is also an important factor

Any employee that uses a digital device, either one that belongs to the business or their own on your network, needs to be fully educated on the cybersecurity risks and how to behave when using the networks and devices.

Password updates need to be regular, and you must upgrade and enhance your security system as often as possible.

have you been a victim of a cyberattack in 2021?

Sharing stories and information plays a crucial role in helping others become more aware of the risks out there and how they can be overcome. If you or your business has been a victim of a cyberattack/breach this year, share your story with us!

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