2018 Data Breach Pace Slows, but Still High

The latest count from the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) reports that there have been 250 data breaches recorded this year through March 27 and that more than 5.4 million records have been exposed since the beginning of the year. The incident total is about 36% below last year’s total of 392 in the same period.

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.

We wrote on Tuesday about a data leak at the Panera Bread website and the millions of personally identifiable records that may have been exposed as a result. Another well-known consumer site,, was hacked and 880,000 payment card numbers may have been exposed. The company, a subsidiary of Expedia, said personally identifiable information such as addresses and phone numbers also may have been exposed but that no Social Security numbers were stolen.

The business sector leads them all in the number of records compromised so far in 2018, with more than 3.4 million exposed records in 107 incidents. That represents 42.8% of the incidents and 62.7% of the exposed records so far this year.

The medical/health care sector has posted 26.8% (67) of all 2018 data breaches. The number of records exposed in these breaches totals more than 780,000, or about 14.5% of the year-to-date total.

The government/military sector has suffered 27 data breaches to date in 2018, representing about 12.2% of the total number of records exposed and 10.8% of the incidents. Nearly 670,000 records have been compromised in the sector.

The number of banking/credit/financial sector breaches totals 26, about 10.4% of the total incidents reported so far this year. More than 115,000 records (about 2.1% of the annual total) have been reported to be compromised in the incidents.

The educational sector has experienced 23 data breaches since the beginning of the year. The sector accounts for 9.2% of all breaches for the year and more than 460,000 exposed records, about 8.5% of the year’s total.

Since beginning to track data breaches in 2005, ITRC had counted 8,776 breaches through March 27, 2018, involving more than 1.07 billion records.