2017 Data Breaches Topped 1500, Up 45% Year Over Year

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The number of data breaches in 2017 tracked by the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) totaled 1,579, easily a new annual record and 45% higher than the previous record of 1,091 recorded in 2016.

Of the five industry sectors that the ITRC tracks, the business category topped the list for the third year in a row with 55% (870) of the overall total number of breaches. This marks the eighth time since 2005 that the number of breaches for this sector has surpassed all other industries.

The medical/health care industry followed in second place with 23.7% (374) of the overall total with the banking/credit/financial sector rounding out the top three with 8.5% (134) of the overall total. This is only the second time since 2005 that the latter sector has ranked in the top three industry categories. The remaining two sectors, educational and government/military, represented 8.0% and 4.7%, respectively, of all breaches.

The new year is off to a poor start following a breach reported to have exposed some 2 million records from corporate-owned Jason’s Deli restaurants. Customer data was stolen from point-of-sale terminals and may have included a cardholder’s name, credit or debit card number, expiration date, customer verification value and service code. Personal identification numbers (PINs) were not believed to have been stolen.

Through January 17 there have been 39 data breaches resulting in the exposure of nearly 3 million records. Here’s the ITRC breakdown by sector:

  • The business sector leads them all in the number of records compromised so far in 2018 with more than 2 million exposed records in 19 incidents. That represents 48.7% of the incidents and 68.5% of the exposed records so far this year.
  • The medical/health care sector has posted 33% (13) of all 2018 data breaches. The number of records exposed in these breaches totals nearly 158,000, or about 5.3% of the 2018 total.
  • The educational sector has experienced five data breaches since the beginning of the year. The sector accounts for 12.8% of all breaches for the year and nearly 280,000 exposed records, about 9.4% of the year’s total.
  • The government/military sector has suffered two data breaches to date in 2018, representing about 16.7% of the total number of records exposed and 5.1% of the incidents. Nearly 500,000 records have been compromised in this sector, including nearly 250,000 in a breach at the Department of Homeland Security.
  • There have been no breaches reported for the banking/financial sector.

Since beginning to track data breaches in 2005, ITRC had counted 8,190 breaches through December 27, 2017, involving almost 1.06 billion records.