The number of data breaches around the world has reached a record high. According to the latest Breach Level Index Report, lost of compromised records increased by 164 per cent in the first six months of the year. In total the index revealed that 918 data breaches has led to 1.9 billion data records being compromised in the first half of the year alone.
A large proportion of those came from the 22 largest data breaches, each involving more than 1 million compromised records. More than 500 of all the breaches worryingly had an unknown or unaccounted number of compromised records.
In total, more than 9 billion data records have been exposed since 2013 when the index began benchmarking publicly disclosed data breaches. Compromised data includes medical, credit card and financial data as well as personally identifiable information. Worryingly, less than 1 per cent of the stolen, lost or compromised data used encryption to render the information useless, a 4 per cent drop compared to the last six months of 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. "We can expect that number to grow significantly, especially as government regulations in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere enact laws to protect the privacy and data of their constituents by associating a monetary value to improperly securing data. Security is no longer a reactive measure but an expectation from companies and consumers."