Most companies strongly protect their crown jewels: internal sales figures, product development plans, account numbers and customer transaction information. Typically lower down the priority list are customer relationship management systems and databases of clients' contact information.

Hackers' hauls in several recent data breaches, including those launched against Anthem, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase, primarily involved that supposedly lower-level information: emails, street addresses and phone numbers. (Social Security numbers were stolen from Anthem, too.)

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