Data Breaches On Track to Exceed 1 Billion by the End of 2016

Although 2015 saw a few major, headline-grabbing data breaches, it looks like the overall amount of record breaches will increase by more than 56%.

“What makes the large-scale data breaches somewhat disconcerting is that they came despite the fact that so many enterprises are supposedly bolstering their defenses in response to previous high-profile breaches,” read Breach Level Index’s official report.

According to Dark Reading, during the first half of 2016, more than 554 million records — compared to the 707 million total breaches in 2015 — were breached in 974 different incidents. If that trend continues over the next few months, the entire record loss for 2016 could be over 1 billion.

Although print information is responsible for 90% of identity thefts, online data breaches continue to strike fear on an individual, organizational, national, and global level.

“Over the past 12 months hackers have continued to go after both low-hanging fruit and unprotected sensitive personal data that can be used to steal identities,” said Jason Hart, vice president and chief technology officer for data protection at Gemalto. “The theft of user names and account affiliation may be irritating for consumers, but the failure of organizations to protect sensitive personal information and identities is a growing problem.”

ZD Net reports that out of these 974 data breach incidents, wholly 79% were in North America. Identity theft accounted for 64% of all breaches and the government sector was targeted the most.

“As data breaches continue to grow in frequency and size, it is becoming more difficult for consumers, government regulatory agencies, and companies to distinguish between nuisance data breaches and truly impactful mega breaches,” Hart added.

Hart continued on about the severity of breaches and how the importance is determined not by the amount of information garnered, but the type of information that’s part of the data.

“A breach involving 100 million user names is not as severe as a breach of 1 million accounts with social security numbers and other personally identifiable information that are used for financial gain,” said Hart.

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