Hacker stealing confidential data from a PC terminal
2017's biggest data breaches PHOTO: Shutterstock

No company wants to suffer a breach of customer data. According to the Ponemon Institute's 2017 Cost of Data Breach Study, the average total cost of a data breach for companies in the study was $3.62 million. That's actually a decrease from $4 million from Ponemon's study the prior year. With customer data breaches seemingly constantly in the news, we've decided to recount some of the biggest data breaches in 2017:

Uber: 57 Million Left in the Dark

Ride-hailing app Uber admitted recently it took one year to notify some 57 million customers that their personal data was breached. Uber’s breach and failure to notify those affected is a stunning fail on their part. It was also revealed Uber paid hackers $100,000 in an effort to conceal a data breach. 

Equifax: Data of 143 Million Americans Exposed

In probably the year's top-reported customer data breach, credit reporting company Equifax reported it exposed social security numbers and addresses of about 143 million Americans. It’s one of the worst breaches of all-time when you measure the number of people affected and the sensitive type of information at stake. Credit card numbers for about 209,000 U.S. customers were compromised. Equifax also reported that "personal identifying information" of about 182,000 U.S. customers were exposed.

Kmart: Malware-Based Credit Card Breach

Sometimes shopping isn’t fun. Sears Holding, the parent company of retailer Kmart, reported in May that credit-card payment systems were infected with malicious software. “We recently became aware that Sears Holdings was a victim of a security incident involving unauthorized credit card activity following certain customer purchases at some of our Kmart stores,” Sears Holdings officials said in a statement. “We immediately launched a thorough investigation and engaged leading third party forensic experts to review our systems and secure the affected part of our network.”

In October 2014, Sears also reported a similar Kmart-related breach

Sweden: Citizen Data, National Security Compromised

This breach not only affected personal data but potentially compromised national security. A Swedish government agency reported that sensitive and personal data of millions of Swedish citizens and some of the nation's military secrets had been exposed. According to reports by the Swedish media, the Swedish Transport Agency was responsible for the breach. The agency had partnered with IBM but mishandled the private data of citizens.

Dun & Bradstreet: Commercial Corporate Database Breached

A database owned by Dun & Bradstreet that included 33.7 million unique email addresses and other contact information on thousands of employees and companies was breached. Dun & Bradstreet acquired the database from NetProspex for $125 million. It included things 52gb of names, job titles and functions, work email addresses and phone numbers. It also included corporate company information.

Yahoo: Make That 3 Billion Records 

Yahoo had previously reported that a 2013 breach affected one billion user accounts. But that wasn't even a third of the story, it turns out. Last month, it was reported that the Yahoo breach affected all three billion of Yahoo's user accounts. Users were warned of possible email fraud and account takeovers on those accounts for which they used the same passwords.