2017 Data Breaches Continue Rising

Print Email

The latest count from the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) reports that there have been 1,120 data breaches recorded this year through October 25 and that nearly 172 million records have been exposed since the beginning of the year. The incident total is 21.2% 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.

On Tuesday, Russia-backed security software provider Kaspersky Lab posted a report of its actions related to the company’s alleged theft of classified U.S. government data. The company admitted that in 2014 its software had collected a file with source code for a classified National Security Agency (NSA) hacking tool from a home computer.

When the company’s CEO, Eugene Kaspersky, was notified that the file had been retrieved, he had the file deleted and did not share it with anyone else. The file — a 7zip archive — contained variations of hacking tool used by the NSA’s hacking team known as the Equation Group.

Earlier this year federal agencies were banned from using Kaspersky software, and retailer Best Buy said last month that it would no longer carry the company’s products, citing reports of Kaspersky’s connections with the Russian government.

The business sector leads them all in the number of records compromised so far in 2017, with nearly 157 million exposed records in 584 incidents. That represents 52.1% of the incidents and 91.5% of the exposed records so far this year.

The medical/health care sector has posted 27.4% (307) of all 2017 data breaches. The number of records exposed in these breaches totals more than 4.8 million, or about 2.8% of the 2017 total.

The educational sector has experienced 104 data breaches since the beginning of the year. The sector accounts for 9.3% 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 55 data breaches to date in 2017, representing about 3.4% of the total number of records exposed and 4.9% of the incidents. About 5.8 million records have been compromised in the sector.

The number of banking/credit/financial sector breaches now totals 70, some 6.3% of the total incidents reported so far this year. More than 2.9 million records have been reported to be compromised in the incidents.

Since beginning to track data breaches in 2005, ITRC had counted 8,018 breaches through October 25, 2017, involving almost 1.06 billion records.