Most Expensive Types of Data Breaches

Many challenges can make your company’s pocket hurt. The number of cybercrimes grows annually. IBM’s 2021 Security Analysis found that the average total cost of a data breach increased by nearly 10%. Its projected cybercrime costs can reach $10.5 trillion annually by 2025, highlighting a growing need for privacy-enhancing and security-enforcing solutions for data-intensive sectors.

With that said, let’s consider the most expensive types of data breaches. Learn from the unfortunate experience of other companies to better protect your enterprise while you leverage data to catalyze innovation. 


Phishing is one of the most cost-intensive for organizations facing a data breach. The most common types of phishing attacks include:

  • Deceptive phishing is when cybercriminals send large-batch emails and impersonate a legitimate company. 
  • The Spear phishing approach involves attacking a specific individual organization. By sending personalized emails using details relevant only to the targeted party.
  • The whaling method focuses specifically on C-suite members of a company by gaining access to even more sensitive and valuable information.

Business Email Compromise (BEC) 

BEC exploits email systems by targeting lower-level employees at an organization. By pretending to be an employee in another department or a C-suite executive, attackers can request sensitive information about a company or its clients. 

  • Attackers can use slight variations on legitimate email addresses, such as [email protected] instead of [email protected]
  • They can send spear-phishing emails that appear to be from a trusted sender in an attempt to access company accounts, calendars, or sensitive data.
  • They can also use malware to infiltrate company networks.

Third-Party Software Vulnerabilities 

Third parties can help you improve key business processes. However, they aren’t under your company’s direct jurisdiction, limiting your access to critical information regarding their security policies or risk management practices. Such software might leave vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers or malicious programs, increasing the risk that your organization fronts the cost in the event of a data breach. 

Different companies share their recommendations as to how to improve data security. For example, ACE Data Group recommends you take the following steps to improve your  data security: 

  • Keep software and hardware up-to-date
  • Use a secure file-sharing solution
  • Use anti-virus and anti-malware
  • Check links before you click
  • Use strong passwords
  • Enable 2-Factor Authentication
  • Don’t store important information in non-secure places
  • Always backup your data