WSJ reports on 2016 Data Breaches Running 10% Ahead of Last Year

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The latest count from the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) reports that there have been 227 data breaches recorded through April 5, 2016, and that more than 6.2 million records have been exposed since the beginning of the year. The total number of reported breaches has increased by 50 in the past two weeks.

The biggest share of the huge jump in exposed records is due to a breach at a division of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) that provides services to large companies whose data has been stolen. Some 1.5 million records were involved and the data were stolen and resold. According to data security website KrebsonSecurity, the thieves price the entire package at $100,000 and selected chunks for $10,000.

The total number of breaches in 2015 came in at 781, just two shy of the record 783 breaches that ITRC tracked in 2014. The 227 data breaches reported so far for 2016 are nearly 10% higher than the number reported for the same period last year. A total of more than 169 million records were exposed in 2015.

 Here’s a rundown of the ITRC report for last week:
  • The business sector accounts for the largest number of the total breaches so far this year, with more than 1.9 million exposed records in 104 incidents. That represents 45.8% of the incidents and 30.8% of the exposed records.
  • The medical/health care sector has posted 38.3% (87) of all data breaches to date this year. The number of records exposed in these breaches totaled nearly 3.9 million, or about 62.4% of the total so far in 2016.
  • The number of banking/credit/financial breaches totals six for the year to date and involves more than 4,000 records, some 2.6% of the total number of breaches and 0.1% of the records exposed.
  • The government/military sector has suffered eight data breaches so far this year, representing about 1.6% of the total number of records exposed and 3.5% of the incidents. More than 102,000 records have been compromised in the government/military sector to date in 2016.
  • The educational sector has seen 22 data breaches in 2016. The sector accounts for 9.7% of all breaches for the year and more than 311,000 exposed records, about 5% of the total so far this year.

Since beginning to track data breaches in 2005, ITRC had counted 5,810 breaches through December 2015, involving nearly 848 million records.

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