Some 1792 data breaches led to the exposition of 1.4 billion data records in 2016, a rise of 86 percent over the previous year, Gemalto revealed in findings of its Breach Level Index for the year released yesterday.
The most common type of the breach was identity theft in 2016, having accounted for 59 percent of all breached records.
Account access based breaches were the second most common type of the breach, accounting for 54 percent of breaches, which is 336 percent more than the previous year.
Breach Level Index has exposed more than seven billion data breaches since its launch in 2013.
“The Breach Level Index highlights four major cybercriminal trends over the past year,” Gemalto vice president Jason Hart said in a statement.
“Hackers are casting a wider net and are using easily-attainable account and identity information as a starting point for high-value targets.”
“Clearly, fraudsters are also shifting from attacks targeted at financial organizations to infiltrating large databases such as entertainment and social media sites.”
“Lastly, fraudsters have been using encryption to make breached data unreadable, then hold it for ransom and decrypting once they are paid,” added Hart.
68 percent of the breaches were carried out by malicious outsiders, an increase of 55 percent over 2015.
identity theft accounted for 59 percent of all breaches in 2016
The technology sector was the biggest victim of the data breaches in 2016, accounting for 55 percent of all breaches. It was an increase of 278 percent from 2015 when the industry had 28 percent of compromised records.
The healthcare sector data breaches rose to 28 percent, from 11 percent in 2015.
Hacking was the leading type of data breach occurred in New York, , accounting for 40 percent of all data breaches. 37 percent data breaches took place due to employee negligence.
“Knowing exactly where their data resides and who has access to it will help enterprises outline security strategies based on data categories that make the most sense for their organizations,” Hart said.
Only 6 percent of the data records exposed, stolen or lost last year were encrypted fully or partially, an increase of 4 percent over the previous year.
“Encryption and authentication are no longer ‘best practices’ but necessities,” added Hart.