In the past few years, we’ve seen an unprecedented rise in data breaches and there are no signs that things are slowing down.
Statistics show that every year we see more and more data breaches, which can only make us wonder; can we ever be truly safe from a data breach?
With the number of data breaches and the staggering volume of personal information compromised with every breach, it’s probably safe to say that most of us will have some kind of information exposed at some point; and probably more than once.
Researchers have again set out to investigate just how bad the situation is. Although these are American researchers, the findings can be reflective over here in the U.K.
Almost a 30% increase judged so far…
Looking at the first six months in 2017, the U.S. reported a record high of 791 data breaches – that’s an incredible 29% increase compared to the same time period for 2016. As the total of data breaches for the whole of 2016 was an “all-time record high” of 1,093, the ITPR estimate the total number for 2017 to be around 1,500 breaches.
Bearing in mind that each data breach can compromise personal data records from just one individual to potentially millions of people, the total number of individual records expected to be breached by the end of this year is seemingly incomprehensible.
Organisations still hiding breaches?
Given the size and diversity of the U.S., the global power reportedly doesn’t have a consistently regulated requirement for companies and organisations to disclose details of data breaches they suffer. According to researchers, 67% of entities don’t tell the public how many data records were impacted by a data breach.
Authorities, industry experts and the public should be able to receive this kind of information so they can analyse the damage and help prevent further damage and future breaches. Data breach victims should also be informed what information has been stolen or exposed so they may prepare themselves for any suspicious activity that could lead to things like scamming and identity theft.
Healthcare data remains, as always, at the top spots in terms of bad breaches.
The need for information to be disclosed about breaches
Researchers emphasised the need for information when it comes to data breaches; only with information can we truly understand what is happening, what the impact is and what should be done to halt it:
“We have made progress in transparency regarding data breach notifications but this only goes so far when we do not have complete information. The number of records breached in a specific incident allows us to provide more insight into the scope of this problem, and is a necessary next step”.
They further commented that they were “surprised at how significantly the number of breaches has grown”, adding “We knew this was a trend… but the sheer volume of growth has been really surprising.”
The research reports were sponsored by a data risk management company, CyberScout; Chaired by Adam Levin. CyberScout wanted to produce a report that would show companies the real risk of data breaches and give cybersecurity the respect it deserves.
Adam Levin said:
“That’s why the problem keeps getting worse and the number of breaches keeps going up and up and up… Most companies in this country still have not embraced a corporate culture where privacy and security are core values.”
The same goes for Britain and much of the rest of the world where data breaches continue to pop up all around us at an alarming rate. Until companies give cybersecurity the respect it deserves, and invest properly in implementing necessary security measures, we expect that the numbers will only keep rising.
IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.
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