2017 Data Breaches Up 23% Year Over Year to 975 Incidents

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The latest count from the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) indicates that there have been 975 data breaches recorded this year through September 6 and that more than 19 million records have been exposed since the beginning of the year. The incident total is 23% 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.

This week’s data does not include the 143 million records exposed in a breach at Equifax Inc. (NYSE: EFX). The credit reporting firm revealed the breach on Thursday but few details other than that it has stopped the leak and has offered a credit monitoring service for consumers who may have been affected.

It is important to note here that consumers should not expect Equifax (or any other company for that matter) to take care of consumer data as well as consumers would like. We noted earlier today some recommended steps you can take to protect your own personal information.

The business sector leads them all in the number of records compromised so far in 2017, with more than 11 million exposed records in 517 incidents. That represents 52.6% of the incidents and 57% of the exposed records so far this year.

The medical/health care sector has posted 26.3% (256) of all 2017 data breaches. The number of records exposed in these breaches totals over 4.1 million, or about 21.5% of the 2017 total.

The educational sector has experienced 97 data breaches since the beginning of the year. It accounts for 9.9% of all breaches for the year and more than 1.1 million exposed records, about 5.7% of the year’s total.

The government/military sector has suffered 48 data breaches to date in 2017, representing about 1.4% of the total number of records exposed and 4.9% of the incidents. More than 260,000 records have been compromised in the sector.

The number of banking/credit/financial sector breaches now totals 61, some 6.3% 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 7,873 breaches through August 22, 2017, involving more than 907 million records.