2016 Was a Record Year for Breaches, Gemalto Reports

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2016 Was a Record Year for Breaches, Gemalto Reports

More data records were breached in 2016 than in 2015, according to the latest edition of the Gemalto Breach Level Index. The new index data for 2016, which was released on March 28, reported that approximately 1.4 billion records were compromised in 2016, an 86 percent year-over-year increase. Breaches can take different forms, but in 2016, the leading type of data breach was identity theft at 59 percent of data breaches. In terms of who is responsible for all those data breaches, Gemalto's report found that malicious outsiders were the top cause at 68 percent, marking a dramatic increase over 2015 when malicious outsiders were only responsible for 15 percent of data breaches. In this slide show, eWEEK looks at some of the highlights from the Gemalto 2016 Breach Level Index.

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Few Data Breaches Involve Encrypted Records

While data breaches can impact all types of records, according to Gemalto only 4.2 percent of data breaches included encrypted data.

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A Record Year for Data Breaches

In 2016, nearly 1.4 billion data records were lost as a result of data breaches, up by 86 percent from 2015.

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Malicious Outsiders Are the Top Attackers

While insiders do remain a risk for data breaches, the top source of data breaches in 2016 were malicious outsiders. In total, malicious outsiders accounted for 68 percent, or 1,223, of the data breach incidents in 2016.

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State-Sponsored Breaches Not a Leading Attack

Accidental loss came in second, after malicious outsiders, as the leading source of lost data records from breaches. Although alleged state-sponsored attacks have made media headlines, they ranked fifth in terms of total data records lost in 2016.

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Identity Theft Is Top Type of Data Breach

The majority (59 percent) of data breach incidents involved identity theft in 2016.

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Governments Lost More Data Records in 2016

Government agencies lost more data records in 2016 than in 2015, according to Gemalto's report. In total, 391.7 million data records were lost in government agency data breaches, up by 27.3 percent over 2015.

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Adult FriendFinder Breach Had the Highest Risk

Of all the breaches in the Gemalto report, the Adult FriendFinder breach was ranked as having the highest risk. In that breach, 412 million data records were stolen.

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