Businesses Account for More Than Half of All Data Breaches

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The latest count from the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) indicates that there have been 1,152 data breaches recorded this year through November 7 and that nearly 172 million records have been exposed since the beginning of the year. The incident total is 21.4% 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 this year.

Earlier this week we noted results of a new Gallup survey that indicated that compromised personal information and identity theft sat at the top of the list of Americans’ biggest concerns. About two-thirds of respondents worry most about cybercrime, according to the survey, more than double the number who say they worry most about being a victim of terrorism.

Gallup suggests that these concerns may be “attributable partly to … media reports about high-profile incidents.” With about 172 million stolen records so far this year, Gallup’s conclusion seems a little disingenuous. Some 143 million records were exposed in the Equifax breach alone.

The business sector leads them all in the number of records compromised so far in 2017 with nearly 157 million exposed records in 597 incidents. That represents 51.8% of the incidents, and 91.4% of the exposed records so far this year.

The medical/health care sector has posted 27.9% (321) 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 105 data breaches since the beginning of the year. The sector accounts for 9.1% 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 57 data breaches to date, 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 this sector.

The number of banking/credit/financial sector breaches now totals 72, 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 8,049 breaches through November 7, 2017, involving almost 1.06 billion records.