305% Annual Rise in Breached Records According to 2017 Data Breach Report

by | Nov 15, 2017

There was been a 305% increase in the number of records exposed in data breaches in the 2017 according to a data breach report from Risk Based Security (RBS), a provider of real time information and risk analysis tools.

For its most recent breach report, RBS analyzed breach reports from the first nine months of 2017. RBS outlined in a recent blog post, 2017 has been “yet another ‘worst year ever’ for data breaches.”

In Q3, 2017, there were 1,465 data breaches registered, bringing the total number of publicly disclosed data breaches up to 3,833 incidents for the year overall. To date in 2017, more than 7 billion records have been exposed or obtained.

RBS reports there has been a continual rise in publicly disclosed data breaches since the end of May, with September the worst month of the year so dar. More than 600 data breaches were reported in September.

Over the last five years there has been a constant rise in reported data breaches, increasing from 1,966 data breaches in 2013 to 3,833 in 2017. Year on year, the number of reported data breaches has grown by 18.2%.

The severity of data breaches has also been on the rise. In 2016, 2.3 billion records were exposed in the first nine months of the year. In 2017, the figure grew to 7.09 billion.

The majority of the accessed records in 2017 came from five breaches, which exposed almost 78.5% of all the records exposed so far in 2017.

The breach at DU Caller exposed 2,000,000,000 records; the River City Media breach saw 1,374,159,612 records accessed; An unnamed web breach exposed 711,000,000 records; and the EmailCar breach resulted in 267,000,000 records being exposed.

Those five breaches made the top ten list of the worst data breaches ever experienced, and were ranked as the 2nd, 3rd,  4th, and 9th worst data breaches of all time. With the exception of one breach in 2014, all of the top ten data breaches of all time have been found in 2016 (4) and 2017 (5).

While the above five breaches involved the highest number of records, the most severe data breach of the year to date was the breach at Equifax, which exposed the private records of 145,500,000 people. The breach only ranks in 18th place in the list of the worst data breaches ever, but RBS rates it as the most severe data breach of 2017 due to the nature of data accessed by the hackers.

The main causing factor of 2017 data breaches, comfortably, was hacking. 1,997 data breaches were due to hacks, 433 breaches were due to skimming, phishing was behind 290 breaches, viruses caused 256 breaches, and 206 breaches were due to Internet attacks.

Internet attacks may have come in at fifth place using the number of breaches, but the attacks resulted in the largest number of exposed records – 68.5% of the total. Hacking made up 30.9% of exposed records.

The business sector has been most targeted by data breaches in 2017, accounting for 68.5% of the overall figure, followed by ‘unknown’ on 12.6%. Medical data breaches were in third place making up 8.5% of the total.

RBS reports that there have been 69 data breaches registered in 2017 that involved the exposure of in excess of 1 million records.

The Risk Based Security 2017 Data Breach Report can be seen by clicking here.

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Patrick Kennedy

Patrick Kennedy is a highly accomplished journalist and editor with nearly two decades of experience in the field. With expertise in writing and editing content, Patrick has made significant contributions to various publications and organizations. Over the course of his career, Patrick has successfully managed teams of writers, overseeing the production of high-quality content and ensuring its adherence to professional standards. His exceptional leadership skills, combined with his deep understanding of journalistic principles, have allowed him to create cohesive and engaging narratives that resonate with readers. A notable area of specialization for Patrick lies in compliance, particularly in relation to HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). He has authored numerous articles delving into the complexities of compliance and its implications for various industries. Patrick's comprehensive understanding of HIPAA regulations has positioned him as a go-to expert, sought after for his insights and expertise in this field. Patrick's bachelors degree is from the University of Limerick and his master's degree in journalism is from Dublin City University. You can contact Patrick through his LinkedIn profile:

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