Data breaches in America reached an all-time high in 2014. With people using the internet to review and pay bills online, the web is a perfect place for thieves to attack.

In 2014, the largest data breach involved eBay and affected 145 million people. JPMorgan Chase and Home Depot also felt the pain of a malicious attack, which affected 132 million individuals combined, and 7 million other businesses fell victim to data breaches.

The cost of data breaches is astronomical. U.S. companies report losing $525 million annually to cybercrime. The 2014 Cost of Data Breach Study: Global Analysis reported each record that was attacked cost roughly $201. This figure concludes that each breach of data has a price tag of $3.5 million.

The data snatch that hit Home Depot in 2014 lasted for roughly five months and involved 56 million cards. Unfortunately, this breach cost Home Depot roughly $62 million. It also created a loss of clientele for Home Depot, which had to spend additional funds to try to recoup lost shoppers.

Data breaches not only cause frustration from loss of funds; these malicious attacks also affect company reputation. When customers learn of data breach issues, their faith in companies dwindles. This creates a downward spiral and makes it hard for companies to recover.

Causes of data breaches include email filters that do not catch all malware and employees who click on phishing links and unencrypted emails. Some tactics that help companies to avoid such issues include using more than one anti-malware app and email encryption.

As technology continues to evolve and security experts update software to keep up with malware and antivirus trends, cybercriminals are coming up with the next best way to skim funds to line their own pockets.

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