2016 Data Breaches Have Exposed 4.3 Million Records

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The latest count from the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) reports that there has been a total of 139 data breaches recorded through March 8, 2016, and that nearly 4.3 million records have been exposed since the beginning of the year. The total number of records soared last week following a report from 21st Century Oncology that 2.2 million patient records may have been compromised in October 2015 but not reported until now. The prior week’s total number of exposed records was around 1.8 million.

The operator of 145 oncology centers in the United States said that it withheld notice of the breach at the request of the FBI to avoid interfering with the agency’s investigation. The company said that it has no indication that any of the stolen information has been misused, but it is notifying affected customers and offering one year of free credit protection services to those who ask for it.

The total number of breaches in 2015 came in at 781, just two shy of the record 783 breaches that ITRC tracked in 2014. The 139 data breaches reported so far for 2016 is 4.5% higher than the number reported for the same period last year. A total of more than 169 million records were exposed in 2015.

Here’s a rundown of the ITRC report for last week:

  • The business sector accounts for the largest number of the total breaches so far this year, nearly 110,000 exposed records in 58 incidents. That represents 41.7% of the incidents and 2.6% of the exposed records.
  • The medical/health care sector posted 36.7% (51) of data breaches to date this year. The number of records exposed in these breaches totaled is more than 3.75 million, or nearly 88% of the total so far in 2016.
  • The number of banking/credit/financial breaches totals four for the year to date and involves more than 4,000 records, some 2.9% of the total number of breaches and 0.1% of the records exposed.
  • The government/military sector has suffered nine data breaches so far this year, representing about 2.4% of the total number of records exposed and 6.5% of the incidents. More than 103,000 records have been compromised in the government/military sector to date in 2016.
  • The educational sector has seen 17 data breaches in 2016. The sector accounts for 12.2% of all breaches for the year and more than 300,000 exposed records, about 7% of the total so far this year.

Since beginning to track data breaches in 2005, ITRC had counted 5,810 breaches through December 2015, involving nearly 848 million records.