Social Media Has Become Key Threat Vector in Data Breaches: BLI

The disturbing trends continue in Gemalto‘s latest update from its Breach Level Index, a database aimed at recording global data breaches.Social Media Has Become Key Threat Vector in Data Breaches: BLI

Gemalto has issued its findings from the first half of 2018. The good news is that, compared to the same period last year, the number of data breaches isn’t up all that much at 945, compared to 918 in the first six months of 2017. The bad news is that the number of compromised records is way up, at 4.5 billion, compared to 1.9 billion a year ago.

In a report summary, Gemalto CTO and VP Jason Hart explained that this year, social media has been “the top industry and threat vector for the compromise of personal data,” with six social media data breaches accounting for 56 percent of all the compromised records. That includes the infamous Cambridge Analytica incident. And Hart warns that this is “a trend we can expect to continue with more and more sectors leveraging these platforms to reach key audiences, especially political teams gearing up for major elections.”

Hart added that we can also expect to see more reports of data breaches from the European Union, but that this is probably due to the more stringent reporting mandated by the General Data Protection Regulation, and not necessarily because of an actual increase in attacks in the region. The same goes for Australia with respect to its Notifiable Data Breaches law.

Breaking down the data further, other trends remain more or less steady: Malicious outsiders continue to be the main cause of breaches, accounting for 56 percent; healthcare is still the leader in the number of data breach incidents; North America gets the lion’s share of data breaches and compromised records (at 59 percent and 72 percent, respectively). And, of course, identity theft is still the main form of data breach, reminding us all of the importance of sophisticated authentication security such as biometric identification and related solutions.

October 9, 2018 – by Alex Perala