The biggest data breaches, hacks of 2021

In 2021, thousands of new cybersecurity incidents have been recorded — and while cryptocurrency theft and data loss are now commonplace, this year stands out due to several high-profile incidents involving ransomware, supply chain attacks, and the exploitation of critical vulnerabilities.

The Identity Theft Research Center (ITRC) has reported an increase of 17% in the number of recorded data breaches during 2021 in comparison to 2020. However, an entrenched lack of transparency around the disclosure of security incidents continues to persist — and so this may be a low ball estimation. 

According to IBM, the average cost of a data breach has now reached over $4 million, while Mimecast estimates that the average ransomware demand levied against US companies is well over $6 million. The world record for the largest payout, made by an insurance company this year, now stands at $40 million.

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