Are we really in the middle of a data breach epidemic?

Yep, it's true that both regulatory and reputational pressures have meant more companies are willing to disclose breaches, which means we read about more of them. In turn this bolsters the impression that attacks are on the up and our data is at more risk than ever. That impression may, or may not, be correct.

7. There's more data out there

Well, there's certainly more data than there was ten years ago, or even ten minutes ago. The stuff multiplies constantly, but that isn't the same as there being more valuable data out there of course.

8. There's more valuable data out there

I'm not convinced today's data is really much more valuable than it was yesterday, and that the hacking stakes (risk vs profit) have been raised as a result. My own investigations over the years suggest the real world value of the data being stolen is dropping faster than a hot brick. The Shadow Internet is awash with very cheap stolen data these days. It's a reflection of dark market forces in action: when supply outstrips demand then values fall.

9. Everyone is stupid

The argument that everyone from admins to end users are becoming increasingly careless with their information assets is not one I am going to take issue with.

10. This all adds up to a perfect insecurity storm

Possibly, but what the heck is that doing in the top ten list anyways? Surely it's really a top nine list, or more to the point a top five, when you discount the duplicated points and the conclusion being thrown in at number ten.

There's no denying that data security is a hot topic right now and that's not going to change any time soon.

Truth be told, though, it's been a hot topic for my entire career and all that changes are the specifics. There is no breach epidemic, data insecurity is just a self-inflicted wound. The big picture remains the same: identify your valuable data and invest in securing it accordingly. If you don't then one thing is certain, one day your company will be adorning the news section of IT Pro.

Davey Winder

Davey is a three-decade veteran technology journalist specialising in cybersecurity and privacy matters and has been a Contributing Editor at PC Pro magazine since the first issue was published in 1994. He's also a Senior Contributor at Forbes, and co-founder of the Forbes Straight Talking Cyber video project that won the ‘Most Educational Content’ category at the 2021 European Cybersecurity Blogger Awards.

Davey has also picked up many other awards over the years, including the Security Serious ‘Cyber Writer of the Year’ title in 2020. As well as being the only three-time winner of the BT Security Journalist of the Year award (2006, 2008, 2010) Davey was also named BT Technology Journalist of the Year in 1996 for a forward-looking feature in PC Pro Magazine called ‘Threats to the Internet.’ In 2011 he was honoured with the Enigma Award for a lifetime contribution to IT security journalism which, thankfully, didn’t end his ongoing contributions - or his life for that matter.

You can follow Davey on Twitter @happygeek, or email him at