2018 Data Breach Count Remains Below Year-Ago Levels

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The latest count from the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) reports that there have been 124 data breaches recorded this year through February 16 and that nearly 3 million records have been exposed since the beginning of the year. The incident total is 13.9% 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.

Last Saturday, web hosting service Newtek Technology Services informed its customers that several of its core domain names had been stolen. According to Brian Krebs at Krebs on Security, three core domains were stolen by a Vietnamese hacker “who replaced the login page many Newtek customers used to remotely manage their Web sites … .” Krebs noted that a hacker who controls a hijacked domain “could seamlessly conduct phishing attacks to steal personal information or use the domain to foist malicious software on visitors.” See Krebs on Security for more details.

The business sector leads all them all in the number of records compromised so far in 2018, with more than 2.1 million exposed records in 50 incidents. That represents 40.3% of the incidents and 74.2% of the exposed records so far this year.

The medical/health care sector has posted 29.8% (37) of all 2018 data breaches. The number of records exposed in these breaches totals about 173,000, or about 6% of the year-to-date total.

The number of banking/credit/financial sector breaches totals 14, about 11.3% of the total incidents reported so far this year. More than 36,000 records (about 1.3%) have been reported to be compromised in the incidents.

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 10.5% of the incidents. Nearly 250,000 records have been compromised in the sector.

The educational sector has experienced 10 data breaches since the beginning of the year. The sector accounts for 8.1% of all breaches for the year and more than 280,000 exposed records, about 9.8% of the year’s total.

Since beginning to track data breaches in 2005, ITRC had counted 8,652 breaches through February 16, 2018, involving almost 1.07 billion records.