Top 5 Security Breaches of 2021

In today’s digital age, cybercrime is on the rise, and the number of breaches experienced by businesses and individuals is only growing. This year, we’ve exceeded the number of breaches seen in 2020. While we’ve not reached the dizzying heights of 2017 and its 1,529 data breaches, we don’t have anything to celebrate.

As businesses and organizations become more reliant on technology, they become more vulnerable to cyberattacks. Hackers are finding new and innovative ways to gain access to data, and it’s more important than ever for businesses to have robust cybersecurity measures in place.

Top 3 Risk Factors for 2021

The risk factors appear to have altered this year, with ransomware, third-party flaws, and undetected security gaps supplanting human error as the leading cause of data breaches.


Ransomware is malware that blocks access to devices or data until a specific demand (often a financial ransom) is paid. This type of attack involves hackers encrypting or locking down files on a victim’s system until the hackers get what they want. These types of attacks have been on the rise over the past few years, and 2021 was no exception. Ransomware was responsible for most of the data breaches in 2021.

Third-Party Vulnerabilities

Third-party vendors are often a weak link in an organization’s cybersecurity defenses. They may not have adequate security measures and practices in place and, as a result, can leave an organization’s critical data exposed.

Undetected Security Gaps

Without proper security measures on endpoints – such as laptops, mobile devices, etc. – a significant cyber attack may be inevitable. A lack of endpoint security could give hackers free reign for campaigns involving ransomware or the theft of customer information.

In this article, we’ll examine the top 5 security breaches of 2021 and detail the key takeaways for IT professionals.

1. March – Microsoft Data Breach

The Chinese hacking group known as Hafnium attacked Microsoft in March of 2021. The attack affected over 30,000 organizations across the United States, including local governments, government agencies, and businesses.

While the attack wasn’t directed specifically at…