The 3 biggest data breaches of 2021 so far

It goes without saying that 2021 has been another funny old year.

Data protection is a primary concern for every business. In the first half of this year alone, 118.6 million people were impacted by only 10 data breaches. According to the ITRC, three of the largest breaches were by tech companies. Whilst the number is staggering, it makes up only 38% of the previous year’s total number of data breach victims, which is a fraction of the record 2.5 billion people impacted in 2016. 

Whilst the data suggests that companies are tackling this issue, here are the biggest breaches that occurred in 2021…

colonial pipeline ransomware attack The 3 biggest data breaches of 2021 so far


The petroleum supply chain was hit this year as pumps in the east of the U.S suffered a ransomware attack. The massive fuel provider carrying 45% of the supply on the east coast, including jet fuel and diesel, became compromised by DarkSide, a hacking organisation. 

The group stole close to 100 gigabytes of data with the threat of publishing it online. Colonial Pipeline paid the ransom of 2.3 million in Bitcoin which saw gas prices rise, supply disruptions and panic buying.

facebook instagram linkedin data breaches The 3 biggest data breaches of 2021 so far


Three of the biggest social networks in the world were exposed by a relatively unknown company this year. The Chinese social media management company Socialarks leaked the personally identifiable information of 214 million users. 

The leak included country of residence, contact information, phone numbers and more. Many of the leaks included celebrities and major influencers.

volkwagen audi data breach The 3 biggest data breaches of 2021 so far


Thanks to unsecured data in the hands of a marketing company in North America, 3.3 million Volkswagen and Audi customers became victims of a data breach this year.

The unauthorized party seized data collected from 2014 to 2019 including vehicle sales records, customer information, social security numbers and driver’s license numbers.

Data breaches can happen to any company at any time, which means that you need to do whatever you can to remain vigilant and pay attention to your data security.


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