In 2015, an average of 24.2 million IT security breaches took place each month. Big companies that manage sensitive customer data such as finance, insurance, e-tail, and travel aren’t the only ones at risk – other businesses and brands are also increasingly targeted, occasionally with their data being held for ransom.

A nursery webcam was remotely accessed by stranger who spoke to the parent and child; users who downloaded apps from novelty card printer Moonpig as well as the Kardashian family were left exposed by security flaws; and even banks which already used two-factor authentication had their systems breached.

Smaller businesses also aren’t immune to IT threats: in the US, 3,000 patients from a small chiropractic clinic had their data compromised while in France, 19,000 websites ranging from military regiments to pizza shops were attacked.

In other cases, security breaches have gone beyond a company’s customers. For health insurer Anthem, 18.8 million non-customers were affected by a breach although they had no relationship to the company itself.

Main sectors targeted in 2015:
• Education
• Governmental bodies and agencies
• Finance and insurance
• Food and beverage
• Journalism
• Medicine
• Online gaming and gambling
• Online dating
• Travel providers (including airlines) and hotels

Commonly stolen information:
• Usernames and passwords
• Credit and payment card data
• Personal information such as National Insurance numbers (UK) or social security numbers (USA)

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