Will the Real “Year of the Data Breach” Please Stand Up?

Tony Martin-Vegue
Jan 4, 2018 · 5 min read

My New Year’s Day ritual has been the same for nearly 10 years now: a late breakfast, a cup of strong coffee and a scan of security blogs and news for two things that always make me chuckle: cyber predictions for the new year, and a retrospective that declares the past year the “Year of the Data Breach.” Kelly Shortridge perfectly parodied the former and I actually thought we might go a year without the latter, until I found this headline on Bloomberg news in which 2017 is named the Year of the Data Breach:

Source: Bloomberg; https://www.bna.com/2017-year-data-b73014473359/

If you are wondering to yourself, where have I seen this before…? It’s nearly every year. 10 of the last 12 years, to be exact.

Here’s a retrospective on the last 12 years and a glimpse into 2018’s prospects.








And a good year it was. Trend Micro called it and Brian Krebs, among many others referenced it. The most notable incident was the Sony Playstation Network suffering a prolonged service outage and data breach.




Most media outlets dubbed 2014 the “Year of the Data Breach,” as well as Advisen, Trend Micro and Tripwire’s State of Security.


Many Americans were affected by data breaches in 2015, with the most notable incidents occurring at Ashley Madison, OPM, Anthem and the IRS.


A small law firm specializing in data privacy, SecureWorld, and a radio host named 2016 the “Year of the Data Breach.”

In a completely perplexing statement, Ars Technica recognized 2014 and 2015 as the “Year of the Data Breach” and also issued a challenge:

[I]f pundits don’t label [2016] ‘the year of the data breach’ — like a one-phase Chinese zodiac for the 21st century — they’re not doing their jobs at all.


2018: a cyber prediction



how hackers start their afternoons.

Tony Martin-Vegue

Written by

I solve really hard infosec problems w/ risk science, math, economics and luck. | https://www.tonym-v.com


how hackers start their afternoons.

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