Top 5 Cyber Security Failures of 2021: How Could They Have Been Avoided?

With more businesses going digital and more people working from home, cybersecurity risks have gone up a lot. Cyber security failures have a negative impact on the economy. Many data were stolen in 2021. Hackers worldwide are taking businesses hostage, exploiting security flaws, and even leaking private information into the public eye.

We will look at the top five cyber failures of 2021, which shocked the world.

Cyber Security Failures

1. Cyber Security Failures – Microsoft Exchange Server (January 2021)

Microsoft Exchange Server’s data breach was reported on January 5, 2021, and was found on January 6, 2021, when it was reported. The acknowledgment took a long time, and it was finally acknowledged on March 2, 2021. These cyberattacks and data breaches took place all over the world.

This server data breach had important information about users, like their emails and passwords. That’s not all. Hackers were also able to get into devices that were connected.

When Microsoft kept watching for two months, they fixed the flaw, but the damage had already been done.

So, as we all know, such problems have long-term consequences that make it hard for service providers and their customers to trust each other in the long run. This all ended when a new type of ransomware was used on March 12, 2021, to encrypt all the files.

2. Cyber Security Failures – Android Users Data Breach (May 2021)

May was a busy month for Android security researchers. They were working on their daily routine to look for flaws in the system, and they found a lot of problems with the cloud service. The mistake was caused by a security flaw that let hackers get into the database and steal the data of millions of people, which led to the Android data breach in May 2021.

In this case, there was not a data breach, but a small configuration change exposed the data of more than a million users. This is what happened: Altogether, 23 apps used the real-time database that wasn’t safe for them to use. People who knew basic computer skills could get their hands on all the data Check Point found. The information in the leak was crucial, and it had information about types of security breaches, like:

  • Email addresses
  • Full names
  • Dates of birth
  • Chat messages
  • Gender
  • Photos
  • Location
  • Passwords
  • Phone numbers
  • Push notifications
  • Payment information

Customers could lose a lot of money if they had access to sensitive information about payments and passwords, making it possible for them to lose a lot of money.

3. Cyber Security Failures – Audi Data (May 2021)

The two-car companies Volkswagen and Audi both get and use a lot of personal information from their customers, even though they are both car companies. A hacker stole a lot of customer data from Audi and Volkswagen. In May 2021, the breach was found and fixed.

Hackers got the first and last name, email address, business mailing address, and phone number of about 3.3 million people.

4. Cyber Security Failures – LinkedIn (June 2021)

LinkedIn now has more than 800 million users. This is a good thing. The company didn’t do well in 2021.

Over 700 million records of LinkedIn users were hacked in June 2021. This is one of the most significant data breaches LinkedIn has ever had. This vast data breach gave hackers access to more than 93% of their users’ information. To sell the data, hackers shared samples and gave out information. However, this data did not have any login credentials or financial information, so it did not work. Many people were worried, but a vast data breach made many people nervous.

Each person’s name and address were included in the data. It also included their LinkedIn usernames and genders from their social media accounts linked to their LinkedIn profiles.

5. Cyber Security Failures – Facebook (October 2021)

Most people can remember Facebook even if they don’t know much about cyber security failures. According to experts, Facebook lost $6 billion when it went down. Outages like this aren’t normal for a company like Facebook, which has a lot of infrastructures and backup.

During maintenance of the Facebook Network, there were a lot of mistakes. This caused the Facebook outage to happen. It is set up so that the other system can still handle the load if one system fails. Since a system was cut off from the chain, all Facebook’s data centers went down.

There was a problem with Facebook’s Instagram and WhatsApp, too. This outage was worldwide, and the services were down for more than 12 hours.

Cyber Security Failures


Toward the end of 2021, Log4j was found to have a flaw. This was not a breach or outage.

Hackers can use the Log4j flaw to run code on target machines or networks from afar. You can use it to write logs in Java, and it’s free! The software available to the public is used to record error messages on the server.

The Log4j flaw makes it easy for hackers to control the system or steal data by Remote Code Execution (RCE). It is more dangerous for businesses that make their software use the Log4j library.

How Could Rigorous Cybersecurity Testing Have Helped?

Cybersecurity is an essential part of any global business. Businesses that have a good cybersecurity strategy should be able to find flaws and find ways to fix them to avoid problems before they happen.


Data breaches happen all the time, but they can be prevented with a little extra caution. The rising number of data breaches and outages is very worrying. Organizations need to use intense cybersecurity testing to reduce risks and protect users’ data.

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