1.9B consumer data records compromised in first half of 2017

Sept. 22, 2017

Gemalto, a provider of digital security, has released findings from the Breach Level Index, a global database that tracks data breaches and measures their severity.

According to a press release, the index showed that 918 data breaches resulted in 1.9 billion compromised data records worldwide in the first half of 2017, a 164 percent increase over the same period in 2016.

During the first six months of 2017, more than 10 million records were compromised or exposed, including medical, credit card and financial data or personally identifiable information.

Less than 1 percent of this data used was protected by encryption that could have rendered the information useless, a 4 percent drop compared to the last six months of 2016.

According to the Breach Level Index, more than 9 billion data records have been exposed since 2013 when the index began benchmarking publicly disclosed data breaches.

"IT consultant CGI and Oxford Economics recently issued a study, using data from the Breach Level Index and found that two-thirds of firms breached had their share price negatively impacted," Jason Hart, VP and CTO for data protection at Gemalto said in the release. "Out of the 65 companies evaluated the breach cost shareholders over $52.40 billion ... Security is no longer a reactive measure but an expectation from companies and consumers." 

Additional findings:

  • Malicious outsiders comprised nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of breaches; the number of records compromised  — 20 million — represented a 4,114 percent increase over the previous six months.
  • Identity theft accounted for 74 percent of all data breaches, up 49 percent from the previous semester. Records compromised in these breaches increased 255 percent.
  • Most industries tracked by the index experienced at least a 100 percent increase in the number of compromised, stolen or lost records.

North America still makes up the majority of breaches and the number of compromised records, both above 86 percent, the release said. The number of breaches in North America increased 23 percent with the number of records compromised skyrocketing 201 percent.

Traditionally, North America has always had the largest number of publicly disclosed breaches and associated record numbers, although this is poised to change in 2018 with the enforcement of global data privacy regulations that include the European General Data Protection Regulation, and Australia's Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Act. Europe currently had only 49 reported data breaches (5 percent of the total), a 35 percnt decline from the previous six months.


Read the full summary of data breach incidents by industry, source, type and geographic region.


Topics: Security


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