2017 Data Breaches Total Hits 900, Up 26% Year Over Year

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The latest count from the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) reports that there have been 900 data breaches recorded this year through August 9 and that nearly 17 million records have been exposed since the beginning of the year. The incident total is 25.9% 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.

Earlier this week Nationwide Mutual Insurance agreed to pay $5.5 million to put an end to a multistate investigation of a 2012 data breach that exposed the records of 1.27 million customers and consumers who had their data retained by the company. A total of 33 state attorneys-general were involved in the no-fault settlement. The states alleged that hackers stole the data because Nationwide failed to install software security updates properly to protect their systems against cyberattacks. The settlement requires the company to notify non-customers that it retains their personal information and to improve its data security, ensure that software is up to date, hire a technology officer to monitor and manage security updates and supervise employees responsible for the company’s software.

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 476 incidents. That represents 52.9% of the incidents and 54.8% of the exposed records so far this year.

The medical/health care sector has posted 25.3% (228) of all 2017 data breaches. The number of records exposed in these breaches totals over 3.5 million, or about 20.8% of the 2017 total.

The educational sector has experienced 96 data breaches since the beginning of the year. The sector accounts for 10.7% of all breaches for the year and more than 1.1 million exposed records, about 6.6% 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 4.9% 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 56, some 6.2% 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 7,798 breaches through August 2, 2017, involving nearly 905 million records.