Gemalto reveals 2.6 bn records faced security issue last year

Nearly 2.6 billion (+88 percent) records were stolen, lost or exposed worldwide in 2017, Gemalto said in its latest findings of the Breach Level Index.
Gemalto breach report for 2017
Data breach incidents decreased by 11 percent in 2017.

Publicly disclosed breaches surpassed more than 2 billion compromised data records since the Breach Level Index began tracking data breaches in 2013.

Nearly 10 billion records have been lost, stolen or exposed, with an average of five million records compromised every day — over the past five years.

Of the 1,765 data breach incidents in 2017, identity theft represented the leading type of data breach, accounting for 69 percent of all data breaches.

Malicious outsiders remained the number one cybersecurity threat last year at 72 percent of all breach incidents.

Companies in the healthcare, financial services and retail sectors were the primary targets for breaches last year.

Government and educational institutions represent 22 percent of all breaches.

Accidental loss, consisting of improper disposal of records, misconfigured databases and other unintended security issues, caused 1.9 billion records to be exposed. A dramatic 580 percent increase in the number of compromised records from 2016.

Identity theft was 69 percent of all data breach incidents. Over 600 million records were impacted resulting in a 73 percent increase from 2016.

The number of malicious insider incidents decreased slightly. However, the amount of records stolen increased to 30 million, a 117 percent increase from 2016.

The number of records breached in nuisance type attacks increased by 560 percent from 2016. The Breach Level Index defines a data breach as a nuisance when the compromised data includes basic information such as name, address and/or phone number.

“By nature, data integrity breaches are often difficult to identify and in many cases, where this type of attack has occurred, we have yet to see the real impact,” said Jason Hart, chief technology officer for Data Protection at Gemalto.

Identity theft was the leading type of data breach, accounting for 69 percent of all incidents constituting 26 percent of breached data in 2017.

The second most prevalent type of breach was access to financial data (16 percent).

The number of lost, stolen or compromised records increased the most for nuisance type of data breaches (560 percent) which constituted 61 percent of all compromised data.

Account access and existential type breaches decreased both in incidents and records from 2016.

In 2017, the industries that experienced the largest number of data breach incidents were healthcare (27 percent), financial services (12 percent), education (11 percent) and government (11 percent).

In terms of the amount of records lost, stolen or compromised, the most targeted sectors were government (18 percent), financial services (9.1 percent) and technology (16 percent).

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