Gemalto, the world leader in digital security, today 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. Compared to the last six months of 2016, the number of lost, stolen or compromised records increased by a staggering 164%. A large portion came from the 22 largest data breaches, each involving more than one million compromised records. Of the 918 data breaches more than 500 (59% of all breaches) had an unknown or unaccounted number of compromised data records.
The 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. By assigning a severity score to each breach, the Breach Level Index provides a comparative list of breaches, distinguishing data breaches that are not serious versus those that are truly impactful.
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According to the Breach Level Index, more than 9 billion data records have been exposed since 2013 when the index began benchmarking publicly disclosed data breaches. During the first six months of 2017, more than ten million records were compromised or exposed every day, or one hundred and twenty-two records every second, including medical, credit card and/or financial data or personally identifiable information. This is particularly concerning, since less than 1% of the stolen, lost or compromised data used encryption to render the information useless, a 4% 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.”