Gemalto, the world’s largest security firm, recently published the summary report of its Threat Level Index for 2016. In his We Live Security article, Narinder Purba comments on the findings and highlights some troubling statistics.
Over a billion data records were compromised globally in 2016, according to Gemalto’s latest Breach Level Index.
The report revealed that close to 1.4 billion records were involved in some sort of data breach, representing an incredible 86% increase compared to 2015.
Identity theft, the authors of the report explained, was the most common type of security incident last year, representing 59% of all data breaches.
As for the main cause of data breaches, “malicious actors” were found to be the most responsible for compromises (68%).
This was followed by accidental losses (19%), malicious insiders (9%), hacktivists (3%) and state-sponsored attackers (1%).
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The findings of the 2016 Threat Level Index make for worrying reading. It’s stunning, in an era that should be one of data security vigilance, that we see an 86% year-on-year increase in the number of compromised records. 1.37bn records in a year is more than 2,600 every minute of every day.
Statistically, you need to put this into some context. In a big data world, we are seeing an exponential growth in digital records, so the average number of records lost or stolen in any single incident is increasing. However, the number of high profile data breaches and the increased profile of cyber-crime and political hacktivation should serve to make organisations more vigilant. An 86% increase says otherwise.
Just as worrying is the fact that in only 4.2% of cases, the compromised data was encrypted; rendering it useless to unauthorised users. Encryption has come a long way in the last 5 years, it is significantly less expensive, easier to manage and has near-zero impact on network or application performance. So what’s your excuse?