Data breaches globally up 15 per cent

In the UK, the Government is the number one target for hackers looking to grab personal records.

The number of breaches and their severity is both growing, a new report by digital security company Gemalto is saying.  The report, entitled Breach Level Index, says there has been 15 per cent more data breaches in the first half of 2016, compared to the last six months of 2015. 

A total of 974 data breaches were reported worldwide, amassing 554 million compromised data records, in the first half of 2016.  It is also interesting that in more than half of cases (52 per cent), the number of compromised records were not disclosed at the time of reporting. Looking specifically at the UK, there have been 61 breaches, most of which happened at the government sector (14). Finance and healthcare sectors were close second and third. 

The biggest data breach occurred at Fling, the dating site which has had 40 million records stolen. 

“The fact that 61 companies have been compromised in the UK is certainly alarming, especially as the true number is likely to be much higher, as companies operating in the region aren’t obliged to declare the breaches that they experience,” said Joe Pindar, Chief Technology Officer for Product Strategy at Gemalto. 

“However, this is all set to change – the upcoming introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation will require all businesses in the EU (or those dealing with customers in the region) to declare when they’ve been breached. In addition, data will need to be encrypted and secured through robust authentication methods – with businesses risking fines if they don’t comply. As the regulation comes into effect in less than two years, organisations would be well advised to start thinking about this now.” 

The full report, together with an infographic, can be found on this link

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