New study reveals the most expensive academic data breaches

A new study has revealed a government database hack as the largest academic data breach between 2020-2021

A new study has calculated the most expensive data breaches over the past two years. The research, which was conducted by Surfshark, shows the cost of data hacks for businesses across 11 sectors including the academic, tech, government, retail and finance industries.

Surfshark’s list of most expensive data breaches is based on information from the IT Governance Blog and IBM’s ‘Cost of a Data Breach’ report.

IBM’s report says businesses face costs in four main areas: detection and escalation, notification to other parties, loss of business and a post-breach response.

The three biggest academic data breaches between 2020-2021 have been with a governmental records service and two online learning services: Mathway and Unacademy.

In 2020, betting firms were granted access to government data and the information of 28 million children and students. Betting companies were able to use the information, which should have only been used for educational reasons, to boost the number of young gamblers using their services.

The study says this breach would have cost the UK government $257.6m.

Academic data breaches 2020-2021.

The second-largest data breach saw 25 million data records hacked from mathematics app Mathway. The breach would have cost the online platform $230m. The resale value of stolen data is often much less than the amount it costs to fix. As a result, this data was offered for sale online for a much smaller amount of $4000.

The third biggest academic breach was with the online teaching platform Unacademy. The data breach saw the information of 20 million users exposed, costing the platform $200m.

Data breaches and cyber-attacks are becoming an increasing concern within the academic space.

Surfshark’s study shows that data breaches have the potential to lead to immense costs for academic institutions that have invested little into cyber-security and protection strategies.

You might also like: Schools face a growing risk of a cyber-breach

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