2018 Data Breach Pace Slows

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The latest count from the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) reports that there have been 141 data breaches recorded this year through February 7 and that nearly 3 million records have been exposed since the beginning of the year. The incident total is 11.3% lower than at the same time last year.

In 2017 the ITRC reported a total of 1,579, a new annual record and 45% higher than the previous record of 1,091 set in 2016. The ITRC has been reporting data breach totals since 2005.

On Wednesday the U.S. Department of Justice indicted 36 people alleged to be members of a criminal operation called Infraud Organization and charged them with the “large-scale acquisition, sale, and dissemination of stolen identities, compromised debit and credit cards, personally identifiable information, financial and banking information, computer malware, and other contraband.” The Justice Department alleges that Infraud is responsible for the loss of $530 million worldwide.

Of the 36 defendants indicted, 13 were arrested. The Justice Department press release includes more details on what Infraud is and who the defendants are and their countries of origin.

The business sector leads them all in the number of records compromised so far in 2018, with more than 2 million exposed records in 70 incidents. That represents 49.6% of the incidents and 69% of the exposed records so far this year.

The medical/health care sector has posted 29.1% (41) of all 2018 data breaches. The number of records exposed in these breaches totals nearly 260,000, or about 8.8% of the year-to-date total.

The educational sector has experienced eight data breaches since the beginning of the year. The sector accounts for 5.7% of all breaches for the year and more than 280,000 exposed records, about 9.6% of the year’s total.

The government/military sector has suffered 13 data breaches to date in 2018, representing about 8.6% of the total number of records exposed and 9.2% of the incidents. More than 250,000 records have been compromised in the sector.

The number of banking/credit/financial sector breaches totals 97, about 6.4% of the total incidents reported so far this year. Nearly 120,000 records have been reported to be compromised in the incidents.

Since beginning to track data breaches in 2005, ITRC had counted 8,617 breaches through February 7, 2018, involving almost 1.07 billion records.