Data breaches: think it can’t happen to you?

The online world is more important than ever. With vast numbers of global workers opting to stay home or work flexibly rather than commute, concerns around online security have only continued to grow.

This worry is backed by real-life examples of catastrophic, costly, and potentially dangerous data breaches from some of the world’s most high-profile companies.

  • High-profile data security breaches

There have been several such incidents in the last few years. Each of these stories help provide more information on why we should all be more cautious with our data and work to secure it as efficiently as possible.

 Capital One

Some of the most high-profile included Capital One, which was hacked in 2019. This led to more than 80,000 bank account numbers becoming public knowledge, and a lawsuit worth around $150m.


Scarily in an era when so many people are working remotely, Zoom also suffered a surge in hacking activity during 2020, with around 500,000 passwords selling on the dark web.

  • 2021’s biggest data security breaches

The last 12-15 months have been full of security breaches for big companies, with household names such as Facebook once more implicated in a loss of data.


In 2021, Facebook reported that more than 500m accounts had been exposed to hackers. Information that was suddenly public included names, email addresses, phone numbers and locations. The 2021 incident followed earlier security issues with Facebook, including an issue in 2019 in which the personal information of some users was even made available to buy online.


In April 2021, LinkedIn seems to have been the target of a malicious data breach. The company saw data from 90% of its customer base (about 700 million people) go up for sale online.

LinkedIn promptly spearheaded an investigation into the incident and stated that the data was already public and not the result of hacking activity, though the true picture has not yet emerged.


One of the biggest plays in the online space and a major tech company, Microsoft still had to face a security breach during 2021. In March of that year, more than 250,000 victims’ and 30,000 companies were impacted.

When investigating the issue, Microsoft attributed it to a new type of ransomware, that had encrypted company data and then demanded money in return for updating and providing access. Microsoft subsequently managed to fix about 90% of the affected data, but it will have certainly made them rethink their approach to security.

To find out more about protecting your information online, contact the Clark-IT team..