2017 Data Breaches Total Nears 900, Up More Than 25%

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The latest count from the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) reports that there have been 881 data breaches recorded this year through August 2 and that nearly 17 million records have been exposed since the beginning of the year. The incident total is 25.7% higher than at the same time last year.

In 2016, the ITRC reported a record total of 1,093 breaches and at the current pace that total could rise to around 1,500 in 2017.

Four U.S. Senators, two from each political party, last week introduced the Internet of Things (IoT) Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2017 to their colleagues. The bill would require vendors of internet-connected devices that are intended for sale to the federal government to ensure that the devices do not use unchangeable, hard-coded passwords, that the devices are free of known vulnerabilities when they are sold, and that the devices can be updated with security patches as required. IoT devices have been used in the past year or so to launch some of the largest cyberattacks ever.

The business sector leads them all in the number of records compromised so far in 2017, with more than 9.2 million exposed records in 470 incidents. That represents 53.3% of the incidents and 54.9% of the exposed records so far this year.

The medical/health care sector has posted 25.4% (224) of all 2017 data breaches. The number of records exposed in these breaches totals nearly 3.5 million, or about 20.8% of the 2017 total.

The educational sector has experienced 93 data breaches since the beginning of the year. The sector accounts for 10.6% of all breaches for the year and more than 1 million exposed records, about 6.4% of the year’s total.

The government/military sector has suffered 44 data breaches to date in 2017, representing about 1.3% of the total number of records exposed and 5.1% of the incidents. More than 200,000 records have been compromised in the government/military sector.

The number of banking/credit/financial sector breaches now totals 50, some 5.7% of the total incidents reported so far this year. More than 2.7 million records have been reported to be compromised in the incidents.

Since beginning to track data breaches in 2005, ITRC had counted 7,779 breaches through August 2, 2017, involving more than 904 million records.