The first half of this year saw 1.9 billion data records compromised across 918 breaches, according to the latest update to Gemalto’s Breach Level Index. Compared to the last half of 2016, that’s a 164 percent increase. And it points to a disturbing upwards trend, given that 2016 as a whole saw a data breach increase of 86 percent compared to 2015.
Identity theft accounted for 74 percent of the data breaches, compromising 255 percent more records than in the second half of 2016. Malicious outsiders perpetrated the biggest percentage of all breaches at 74 percent, while insiders were involved in only eight percent of all breaches.
Still, one malicious insider can do a lot of damage: An insider attack against a major educational company database in China helped to produce a 4,000 percent increase in the number of compromised records in the education sector worldwide. Still, over 86 percent of all reported breaches occurred in North America, which has traditionally seen the highest percentage of disclosed breaches, though Gemalto says that’s poised to change next year with the introduction of new data privacy regulations in the European Union and Australia.
Meanwhile, the use of encryption security has actually gone down. According to Gemalto’s index, less than one percent of the compromised data used encryption to render it useless, compared to five percent in the last half of 2016. That underlines the dire need for enhanced digital security as the threat of data breaches intensifies.
September 20, 2017 – by Alex Perala