Data Breaches on Track to Reach 1,500 in 2017

The latest count from the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) indicates there have been 456 data breaches recorded this year through April 18 and that nearly 8 million records have been exposed since the beginning of the year. The total represents a 31% increase in the number of breaches to date compared with 2015.

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

A breach involving 918,000 individual records collected by telemarketing firm HealthNow Networks was discovered earlier this month. According to HIPAA Journal, the data had been stored in an unprotected root folder on an Amazon Web Service installation owned by a software developer who had previously worked on a database for HealthNow Networks. The project was abandoned long ago although the data provided to the developer were not secured and could be accessed online.

The business sector leads them all in the number of records compromised so far in 2017, with nearly 6.2 million exposed records in 247 incidents. That represents 54.2% of the incidents, and 78% of the exposed records so far this year.

The medical/health care sector has posted 23.9% (109) of all data breaches. The number of records exposed in these breaches totaled tops 1.5 million, or about 19% of the 2017 total.

The government/military sector has suffered 63 data breaches to date in 2017, representing about 0.5% of the total number of records exposed and 5.5% of the incidents. More than 176,000 records have been compromised in the government/military sector.

The educational sector has experienced 63 data breaches since the beginning of the year. The sector accounts for 13.8% of all breaches for the year and more than 41,000 exposed records, about 0.5% of the year’s total.

The number of banking/credit/financial sector breaches now totals 12, some 2.6% of the total incidents reported so far this year. 20,000 records have been reported to be compromised in the incidents.

Since beginning to track data breaches in 2005, ITRC had counted 7,356 breaches through April 18, 2017, involving nearly 900 million records.

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