Looking at the Biggest Data Breaches, the Message is Clear: Firm Up Security


No company is safe from attack. The sooner businesses realize this, the sooner breach numbers will go down. The problem is that for most companies out there, the issue of cybercrime and the need for enterprise security doesn’t come into sharp focus until they’re actually attacked, at which point it’s too late.

Too many companies have been down that road before and it’s not only small and weakly guarded organizations, but also large and robust ones. In taking a look at some of the “10 Worst Data Breaches of All Time” compiled by Tom’s Guide, businesses should have all the incentive they need to implement better security today.

Heartland Payment Systems
In this breach, which happened between 2008 and 2009, the widely used payment processor was attacked by a powerful hacker who proceeded to compromise 130 million credit and debit cards that the company had on its system.

The massive scale of the breach — at the time, the company counted 250,000 businesses worldwide among those that used its payment systems — led to a hunt for the person behind the incursion. When that individual, Albert Gonzalez, was captured, he received a 20-year sentence — but that did little to curb the global proliferation within the cybersphere.

Sony Online Entertainment Services
There are millions of people in the world who participate in online gaming and the hackers who targeted Sony in 2011 knew that. After all, Sony is the parent company of the PlayStation Network, which offers online gamers a vast sphere of virtual activity.

It’s this digital gaming realm that the cybercriminals were able to exploit, breaking in and swiping login credentials and other personal details for almost 80 million users. This led to a three-week shutdown of the PlayStation Network and repair costs that reached $170 million, according to eSecurity Planet.

CardSystems Solutions
Back in 2005, large-scale business breaches weren’t as commonplace as they are now — but hackers still operated with significant prowess. This was illustrated when the Arizona-based CardSystems Solutions fell into the clutches of malicious intruders, leading to a breach that compromised highly private payment data for 40 million cardholders.

The tremendous scale of the breach coupled with the discovery that it had happened as a result of lax security on the part of the company led to a significant decline in CardSystems’ industry standing. That same year, unable to continue operating as a self-sustaining enterprise, it was acquired by another firm.

A popular service that offers individuals and businesses expeditious means of note-taking, Evernote’s success was interrupted in 2013 by a data breach that revealed user data such as passwords and addresses.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the first breach for the company, which had undergone a similar incident in 2011. The fact that the business has been majorly attacked twice in less than five years almost undoubtedly has had an impact on its public reputation and it will need to implement better enterprise security if it hopes to regain the full trust of its users.


Entrust provides identity-based security solutions that empower enterprises, consumers, citizens and websites in more than 5,000 organizations spanning 85 countries. Entrust's identity-based approach offers the right balance between affordability, expertise and service. With more than 125 patents granted and pending, these world-class solutions include strong authentication, physical and logical access, credentialing, mobile security, fraud detection, digital certificates, SSL and PKI.


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