2016 was a busy year for the technology industry. We saw virtual technology become a reality, the latest Samsung phone literally exploding, and unfortunately, cybercrime continuing to hit a variety of people and industries.

With the last quarter of 2016 upon us and 2017 getting closer, here are our 5 top cyber security disasters of 2016, highlighting why businesses need to focus more attention on cyber security in 2017:cyber-security-1805632_1280

  1. LinkedIn suffers major data leak

When LinkedIn was hit by a data breach back in 2012, it was reported that more than 6 million user login details were compromised. However, this year, it was discovered it was much more than that. In May, alleged details of 117 million LinkedIn users were up for sale on the dark web, which lead to LinkedIn resetting all user passwords for those who haven’t changed it in the last 4 years.

  1. TalkTalk being hit by a record fine

After being hacked in October 2015, earlier this year, TalkTalk were fined £400,000 for their security failings by the Information Commissioner’s Office, the highest fine ever recorded. It is said that attackers accessed the personal information of more than 150,000 customers of the internet service provider, including sensitive financial data for more than 15,000 people.

  1. German nuclear plant nearly being compromised computer virus 

In April this year, a computer virus infected PCs used at a German nuclear power plant. Thankfully, the infection posed no threat to the plant because its control systems were not linked to the internet, and so couldn’t be activated. However, it was discovered that the viruses were found on 18 USB sticks used as removable data stores on office computers.


  1. Tesco Bank customers hit by Malware

In November, cyber criminals broke into Tesco Bank’s computer systems and stole £2.5million from the current accounts of 9000 customers. It is said that this is the largest ever cyber-attack to a UK bank, with over 136,000 current accounts being affected as Tesco Bank suspended all online debit transactions – including contactless card payments – to prevent further criminal activity.


  1. Lincolnshire Council Cyber Attack


It is not just highly profiled organisations that are hit by data breaches either. Nearer to home at the start of the year, Lincolnshire County Council were the victim to ransomware after an employee received malware disguised as an email invoice. It was reported that whilst the majority of the data were accessed, no data was lost as a result of the breach.