How Likely are You to Become a Victim of a Data Breach?

Criminal data breaches will cost an estimated $8 trillion over the next 5 years

2017 has been a productive year for cybercriminals - there were 2,227 public data breaches as of June 30, according to a mid-year report from cybersecurity firm Risk Based Security.

More than six billion records have been stolen in 2017, surpassing the total number of records infiltrated during 2016.

No enterprise is immune to cybercrime - in March, Yahoo announced its third breach in less than six months - 32 million users' accounts were accessed from 2015 to 2016. The news came just months after the tech company confirmed more than one billion accounts had been leaked in 2013.

Arby's also fell victim to a breach between October 2016 and January 2017, when more than 335,000 customers had their payment card information stolen.

Consumer electronics retailer GameStop confirmed it was hit by a cyberattack in June. The company warned customers that payment card data used on its website from August 2016 to February 2017 was accessed by criminal third parties.

"We're building this connected world, but we don't have the workforce to protect it," Michael Kaiser, executive director of National Cyber Security Alliance, tells us Wednesday.

Criminal data breaches are becoming more prevalent - it's estimated they'll cost businesses a total of $8 trillion over the next five years. But how likely are you to become a victim?

"You can't worry about getting into an accident every time you drive. But you can take precautions to keep yourself safe," Kaiser says. He recommends using one credit card to make online purchases, since many providers have zero-liability policies to protect consumers from fraudulent charges.

Strong passwords are also crucial to keeping your personal data safe. Use sites like to gauge the strength of potential passwords, and use a combination of numbers and letters to ward off hackers. Enable two-factor authentication if possible.

Kaiser also suggests monitoring bank accounts on a regular basis. Write down all financial transactions and ensure they coincide with monthly statements. Don't neglect any online payment portals you use, such as PayPal, Venmo and Facebook.

Additionally, sign up for your bank's free credit monitoring service, which will place an alert on your account if it detects any suspicious activity.

If you would like a free security consultation for your business, please email or call us at 617-477-2337.