Market Updates

Data Breaches and It's Evolution

April, 2019

As we witness more and more data breaches of organizations, let’s look on some of the major development in breaches and threats emergence over the years. We are into the digital age and all organizations stores data on local machines, databases and cloud servers. Data breaches came into existence from the time when people or organizations started maintaining records and private information prior to computing era. Most of the data breaches started from 2005 when technologies started to advance and today data breaches can affect hundreds and thousands of individuals from one attack. The regulations such as HIPAA and PCI security are designed to cater only to limited industries, containing certain sensitive data of consumers, but doesn’t defend the systems from other kind of data breaches.

Common types of data breaches:

  • Ransomware: It is a type of malicious software that usually targets business organizations gaining access to their systems and data; locks the system and demand a certain amount from organization to gain back their own access.

  • Malware: Malware is a software designed to damage computer files and systems and often these malware software pops up a warning message to users making them to download certain type of malware software.

  • Phishing: Phishing activity is such that the attacker mimics a trusted and reputed brand entity to gain certain private and sensitive data through Email, Session hijacking, Content injection phishing, Content injection phishing and others

  • DoS: The denial-of-service snatches away the access to websites and webpages; largescale DoS is known as distributed denial-of-service (DDoS). These attacks sometimes restrict internet connection of a large portion of geographical area.


The total number of data breaches has been increasing from being 157 data breaches in 2005 in the US to 783 data breaches in 2014 with more than 85.61 million records exposed and has reached to 1,579 data breaches reported in 2017. Though the number of breaches may not seem to be increasing year over year with continuous upward growth, but single breach has capability to assess record and expose is growing tremendously. There have been numerous data breaches in the last decade against few of the largest corporations across the world which include Sony Online Entertainment’s 24.6 million records in 2011, Target’s 70 million records in 2013, Ebay’s 145 million records in 2014, JP Morgan Chase’s 76 million records in 2014, Yahoo’s 1 billion records in 2016, among many others. These breaches indicate the need for comprehensive security plan and operations for enterprises to restrict data theft and losses.

-Swarup Bhowal
ICT - Research Analyst,
Infoholic Research