2017 Data Breaches Nearly 30% Higher Than 2016's Record Pace


The latest count from the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) indicates that there have been 758 data breaches recorded this year through June 20 and that more nearly 12 million records have been exposed since the beginning of the year. The total represents a 29.1% 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.

A data breach at Washington State University added approximately 1 million records to the breach total in the ITRC’s educational sector. A backup disk drive containing personal information related to social science research was stolen from a locked safe in late April. The stolen drive contained names, Social Security numbers, and, in some cases, personal health information on participants in a recent survey.

The business sector leads them all in the number of records compromised so far in 2017, with more than 7.5 million exposed records in 420 incidents. That represents 55.4% of the incidents and nearly 64% of the exposed records so far this year.

The medical/health care sector has posted 22% (167) of all data breaches. The number of records exposed in these breaches totaled more than 2.5 million, or about 21.1% of the 2017 total.

The educational sector has experienced 87 data breaches since the beginning of the year. The sector accounts for 11.5% of all breaches for the year and more than a million exposed records, about 9% of the year’s total.

The government/military sector has suffered 43 data breaches to date in 2017, representing about 1.8% of the total number of records exposed and 5.7% of the incidents. More than 200,000 records have been compromised in the government/military sector.

The number of banking/credit/financial sector breaches now totals 41, some 5.4% of the total incidents reported so far this year. Some 526,000 records have been reported to be compromised in the incidents.

Since beginning to track data breaches in 2005, ITRC had counted 7,656 breaches through June 20, 2017, involving nearly 900 million records.

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