647 Data Breaches in 2017, Up by a Third Year over Year

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The latest count from the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) reports that there have been 647 data breaches recorded this year through May 17 and that nearly 10.2 million records have been exposed since the beginning of the year. The total represents a 33.4% increase in the number of breaches to date compared with 2016.

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.

The big news in data security in the past week was the WannaCry ransomware attack that affected hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide. As of mid-afternoon Thursday, the perpetrators of the attack (believed by some to be based in North Korea) had received more than $85,000 in 299 ransom payments from victims. Check the @m0rb Twitter feed for a running total.

The business sector leads all sectors in the number of records compromised so far in 2017 with more than 7.5 million exposed records in 367 incidents. That represents 56.7% of the incidents, and nearly 74% of the exposed records so far this year.

The medical/healthcare sector has posted 21.8% (141) of all data breaches. The number of records exposed in these breaches totaled nearly 1.9 million, or about 18.6% of the 2017 total.

The educational sector has experienced 79 data breaches since the beginning of the year. The sector accounts for 12.2% of all breaches for the year and more than 45,000 exposed records, about 0.4% of the year’s total.

The government/military sector has suffered 33 data breaches to date in 2017, representing about 1.9% of the total number of records exposed and 5.1% of the incidents. More than 190,000 records have been compromised in the government/military sector.

The number of banking/credit/financial sector breaches now totals 27, some 4.2% of the total incidents reported so far this year. 520,000 records have been reported to be compromised in the incidents.

Since beginning to track data breaches in 2005, ITRC had counted 7,545 breaches through May 17, 2017, involving nearly 900 million records.