After the first six months of 2018, 4.5 billion data records have already been compromised according to a recent report. Data breaches have affected businesses large and small, from Adidas (two million records compromised) to Facebook (up to two billion accounts affected) to municipal airports and accounting firms, and 2018 has already seen more than its fair share of massive global data breaches.
The Gemalto Report
Digital security specialist Gemalto revealed in a new report that 945 data breaches led to a staggering 4.5 billion data records being compromised worldwide in the first half of 2018.
Although the total number of breaches were down from the same period the year before, the number of records compromised were up over 130 percent as the severity of individual incidents increased.
Gemalto’s Breach Level Index is a global database that tracks data breaches and measures their severity based on multiple dimensions, including the number of records compromised, the type of data, the source of the breach, how the data was used, and whether or not the data was encrypted.
Breaking Down the Numbers
According to the latest update to the Index, almost 15 billion data records have been exposed since 2013, when the index started tracking publicly disclosed data breaches.
During the first six months of 2018, the equivalent to 291 records were stolen or exposed every second, including medical, credit card and/or financial data or other personally identifiable information.
Just one percent of this was encrypted.
A Focus on Consumer Protection
2018 has been a particularly troubling year with regards to global data breaches – with customer data protection squarely in the spotlight since the rollout of GDPR on May 25 and as a wave of social media breaches shifts media and consumer attention towards compliance. And while the largest amount of data has been exposed by social media companies, the healthcare sector is the most often breached, according to the Gemalto report.
The United States is the most popular target for attackers, accounting for more than 57 percent of global breaches and 72 percent of all records stolen.