2017 Data Breaches Up 23% Year Over Year

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The latest count from the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) reports that there have been 1,022 data breaches recorded this year through September 21 and that more than 163 million records have been exposed since the beginning of the year. The incident total is 22.8% 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 record could rise to around 1,500 in 2017.

According to an online survey conducted by security products maker ESET, Americans rank criminal hacking as the number one threat to their well-being, just ahead of pollution, hazardous waste disposal, and identity theft.  ESET senior security researcher Stephen Cobb told Darkreading.com:

It’s pure speculation on my part as to why criminal hacking was rated the highest, but one suggestion is criminals breaking into computers is a more immediate threat. Maybe the headlines in the news also made a difference. The survey was done right after WannaCry and NotPetya.

The Equifax breach of 143 million personally identifiable records certainly did nothing to ease anyone’s mind on this score.

The business sector leads all sectors in the number of records compromised so far in 2017 with more than 149 million exposed records in 537 incidents. That represents 52.5% of the incidents, and 91.4% of the exposed records so far this year. These totals include the Equifax breach.

The medical/healthcare sector has posted 26.7% (273) of all 2017 data breaches. The number of records exposed in these breaches totals over 4.3 million, or about 2.7% of the 2017 total.

The educational sector has experienced 98 data breaches since the beginning of the year. The sector accounts for 9.6% of all breaches for the year and more than 1.1 million exposed records, about 0.7% of the year’s total.

The government/military sector has suffered 50 data breaches to date in 2017, representing about 3.5% of the total number of records exposed and 4.9% of the incidents. Nearly 5.8 million records have been compromised in the government/military sector.

The number of banking/credit/financial sector breaches now totals 64, 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 7,920 breaches through September 21, 2017, involving more than 1.05 billion records.