Storing data is one of the most important jobs a bank has besides storing and managing the public’s money. Losing this stored information can ruin countless lives due to a simple accident or an outside source forcibly stealing the data from the banks servers. Thousands upon millions of lives could potentially be at risk when something of this magnitude occurs, yet nobody ever thinks it will happen to them. Banks need to be as careful as possible so that the following major data breaches don’t repeat in the future.

JP Morgan Chase

In 2014, somewhere around 83 million accounts were compromised in a cyber-attack against this bank. The attack was discovered in July but wasn’t stopped until mid-August. The bank declared that login information associated with the accounts (such as social security numbers or passwords) was not compromised but names, email and postal addresses, and phone numbers of account holders were obtained by hackers, raising concerns of potential phishing attacks. While the attack wasn’t specifically targeting JP Morgan, they took the largest hit in data loss. A total of nine other financial institutions had their data stolen as well. Proper security measures and risk management would have helped in saving them from this incident in the first place or at least lowered the chances of it occurring, not to mention making the recovery effort easier.


In 2011, the story broke that one of the largest financial organizations in America was compromised and potentially had been for months prior. Because of how large of an organization they are, it can be difficult to monitor every nook and cranny of security and every digital system the utilize. The data was stolen through a backdoor method, through one of their web-based tools used for web sharing documents. Some things slip through the cracks, but there should be systems in place to prepare for accidents or the monitoring of systems not directly under company control, since this was through a subsidiary called Directors Desk. Always cover as many bases as you can, even if it might cost you the extra dollar. Losing as much data as NASDAQ could have a much larger financial impact then hiring or using further protective software and systems.


The biggest credit card scandal in history, Heartland was the victim of a cyber attack that stole as many as 100 million credit and debit card numbers of its users. Multiple lawsuits later and they were still on shaky ground. $140 million in fines and dues later, the company was reeling and struggled to recover its reputation for years after. One person of ill will can undo the lives of millions if you aren’t careful. Always be prepared to the worst because you are never safe from criminal intent, even if you think you are.

Don’t join this list of infamous data breaches at banks. Ensure that your technology is up to date and your security measures are fit to combat incidents like these.