Complex Made Simple

Cost of data breach, identity theft, $52.4bn

If you wake up one day and receive a call saying that payments on a loan, per sonal or business, you never applied for are now overdue, know that you’ve joined the list of thousands of would be victims of cyber fraud, and identity theft.

A recent study has shown that no one is safe from electronic superhighway robbery.

Breach Level Index

Gemalto, a world leader in digital security, released the latest findings of the Breach Level Index, a global database of public data breaches, revealing 918 data breaches led to 1.9 billion data records being compromised worldwide in the first half of 2017.

That’s a 164 per cent increase of the number of lost, stolen or compromised records from the last six months of 2016.

The 22 largest data breaches each involved more than one million poorly protected data and of the 918 data breaches more than half or 59 per cent had an unknown or unaccounted number of compromised records.

During the first six months of 2017, more than 10 million records were compromised or exposed every day, or 122 records every second, including medical, credit card and/or financial data or personally identifiable information.

Of concern is the fact that less than 1 per cent of the stolen, lost or compromised data used encryption, lower by 4 per cent compared to H2 2016.

“IT consultant CGI and Oxford Economics recently issued a study, using data from the Breach Level Index and found that two-thirds of firms breached had their share price negatively impacted. Out of the 65 companies evaluated the breach cost shareholders over $52.40 billion,” said Jason Hart, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Data Protection at Gemalto.

Sources of data breaches
The largest proportion of data breaches (74 per cent) – ending with stolen, compromised or lost records – were malicious outsiders, who from H2 2016 increased by 23 per cent.

While malicious insider attacks only made up 8 per cent of all breaches, they did manage to compromise 20 million records up from 500,000 from the previous six months, or a 4000 plus per cent increase.

Top breach types in H1 2017
Stolen identity topped the types of data breach in terms of incident, accounting for 74 per cent of all data breaches, up 49 per cent from the previous semester.

Sectors affected  

Education ranked first in the largest increases in breaches up by 103 per cent increasing over 4,000 per cent in the number of records as a result of China’s largest comprehensive private educational companies being the target of a malicious insider attack compromising millions of records.

Healthcare had a relatively similar amount of breaches compared to the last six months of 2016, but stolen, lost or compromised records increased 423 percent.

Financial services, government and entertainment were also hard hit industries, particularly entertainment breach incidents increased 220 per cent in H1 2017.

US leading in data breaches

North America is the number one market for breaches and compromised records, both above 86 per cent.

Europe currently only had 49 reported data breaches (5 per cent of all breaches), or a 35 per cent decline from H1 2017.