2017 Data Breach Report Reveals 305% Annual Rise in Breached Records

The Risk Based Security (RBS) 2017 data breach report has shown there has been a 305% surge in the number of records exposed in data breaches in the last 12 months.

For its latest breach report RBS, a provider of real time information and risk analysis tools, reviewed analyzed breach reports from the first three quarters of 2017. RBS explained in a recently published blog post, this year has been “yet another record breaker for data breaches.”

In Quarter 3, 2017, there were 1,465 data breaches filed, bringing the complete number of publicly reported data breaches up to 3,833 incidents for the year to date. So far in 2017, over 7 billion records have been illegally accesed or stolen.

RBS reveals there has been a steady surge in publicly disclosed data breaches since the end of May, with September the worst month of the year of 2017. In excess of 600 data breaches were filed in September.

Over the past five years there has been a progressive surge in filed data breaches, increasing from 1,966 data breaches in 2013 to 3,833 in 2017. Year on year, the number of filed data breaches has risen by 18.2%.

The severity of data breaches has also surged. Last year, 2.3 billion records were accessed in the initial 9 months of the year. In 2017, the figure increased to 7.09 billion.

The highest percentage of the accessed records in 2017 came from five breaches, which breached an estimated approximately 78.5% of the entire number of records exposed so far in 2017.

The private data violation DU Caller exposed 2,000,000,000 records; the River City Media breach resulted in 1,374,159,612 records being exposed; An unnamed web breach violated 711,000,000 records; and the EmailCar breach saw 267,000,000 records of details exposed.

Those five breaches took their place in the top ten list of the worst data breaches of all time, and were ranked as the 2nd, 3rd,  4th, and 9th worst data breaches in record. With the exception of one breach in 2014, all of the top ten data breaches on record have been identified in 2016 (4) and 2017 (5).

While the aforementioned five breaches involved the most records, the worst data breach experienced of 2017 so far was the breach at Equifax, which exposed the records of 145,500,000 individuals. The breach only ranks in 18th place in the list of the worst data breaches on record, but RBS rates it as the worst experienced data breach of 2017 due to the nature of data stolen by the hackers.

The main factor  that led to data breaches in 2017, by some distance, was hacking. 1,997 data breaches were inflicted by hacks, 433 breaches were to caused by skimming, phishing was behind 290 breaches, viruses lead to 256 breaches, and 206 breaches were made using web attacks.

Web attacks may have registered at fifth place in terms of the overall number of breaches, but the attacks resulted in the biggest number of exposed records – 68.5% of the complete total. Hacking lead to 30.9% of exposed records.

The business sector has been worst hit by data breaches during 2017, encompassing for 68.5% of the total, followed by ‘unknown’ on 12.6%. Medical data breaches were in third place making up for 8.5% of the total number.

RBS says that there have been 69 data breaches made known in 2017 that lead to the exposure or more than a million information records.

The Risk Based Security 2017 Data Breach Report can be accessed here.

Author: Maria Perez