With the global pandemic and stay at home order, normal life was dramatically interrupted last year; however, the pandemic did not stop bad actors from making their move during 2020. In fact, it was a record year for cyber-attacks. While the final numbers aren’t in, here is a glimpse at some of the record setting cybersecurity statistics of 2020.
- 2020 was the worst year on record for the total number of records exposed.
- There were almost 3,000 publicly reported breaches in the first three quarters of 2020.
- 22% of all the data breaches in 2020 involved phishing attacks.
- Ransomware attacks’ main targets were hospitals and schools.
Next, let’s take a look at some of the biggest hacks and data breaches of the year. Knowing and understanding how these cyber-attacks occurred can teach your IT teams how to prevent one from happening inside your organization.
- 5.2 million guests’ login credentials were exposed when Marriot suffered a breach in March 2020. A hacker obtained the credentials of two Marriot property employees and used the information to siphon data for about a month before being discovered.
- In February 2020, Estee Lauder had 440 million records accessed in their security breach. Criminals uploaded the databased to the Internet, but it is unclear what method hackers used to take the information.
- In June, the University of California SF paid a $1.14 million ransom to hackers in order to save COVID-19 research.
- A Cisco engineer was responsible for damage that cost Cisco nearly $2.4 million to fix. The engineer admitted to illegally accessing Cisco’s network and wiping 456 virtual machines.
- As we previously reported, the cybersecurity firm, FireEye, was hacked at the end of last year. Hackers accessed tools the company uses for penetration testing against its clients’ security.
- Google experienced an outage that lasted more than an hour that prevented users from accessing several services. The hack affected nearly 70 million users across the globe.
- 18,000 SolarWinds’ customers were breached when hackers installed malicious code into an updated version of SolarWinds’ own software. As one of the largest attacks of the year, the after-effects and scale are continuing to grow.
- Home Depot agreed to a $17.5 million settlement over the 2014 data breach when their point-of-sale systems were infected with malware.