Chapter 20

Ten (or So) Lessons from Major Cybersecurity Breaches


Bullet Looking at the Marriott breach disclosed in 2018

Bullet Understanding the Target breach

Bullet Lessons from the Colonial Pipeline and JBS hacks in 2021

Bullet Gaining knowledge from other breaches

Learning from the experiences of others can save people from unnecessary pain and suffering. In this chapter, I discuss seven breaches that teach several important lessons. I specifically chose these breaches because they directly impacted either myself or a member of my family and, due to the breaches’ respective magnitudes, are likely to have impacted you and yours as well.


In November 2018, Marriott International disclosed that hackers had breached systems belonging to the Starwood hotel chain as far back as 2014 and had remained in the systems until September 2018 — about two years after Marriott acquired Starwood.

At the time of the disclosure, Marriott estimated that the breach may have impacted as many as 500 million customers and that the data compromised ranged from just the name and contact information for ...

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