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2.6 billion data records stolen last year

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/Carlos Amarillo)

Roughly 2.6 billion data records have been stolen or compromised in 2017, Gemalto is claiming. The company's latest report claims that Facebook's data leak is not an isolated event and that data leaks are happening all around us.

The amount of data leaks has nearly doubled since 2016, as it had risen 88 per cent, the same source claims.

When it comes to countries leading the pack in this infamous statistic, the US is on the number one spot with 1,453 data breaches occurring in 2017. The UK is second place with 80 data breaches.

Looking at the UK specifically, the number of incidents declined, compared to 2016, when there were 108 data leaks. The number of data records that were stolen or compromised is also declining compared to 2016 (33,124,246, down from 54,468,603).

The NHS breach was the single largest incident, in which 26 million data records were compromised.

Malicious outsiders and accidental loss were the two biggest threats, accounting for 48 and 39 per cent of all incidents, respectfully.

“On the face of it, UK organisations’ security and data protection seem to be improving,” commented Joe Pindar, Director of Product Strategy at Gemalto.

“However, with GDPR on the horizon it’s likely that the total amount of lost data will rise nearer in line with the US, who have had to publicly reveal breaches for a number of years.”

“Worryingly, for UK organisations, is the number of records being compromised due to accidental loss. Companies are clearly not controlling or even knowing where their sensitive customer data is, so when it comes to complying with key aspects of GDPR like the ‘Right to be Forgotten’, what hope is there that they will be able to remove customer data from all of their systems? Whilst human error is something that all organisations have to deal with, if it’s not correctly encrypted, data can easily be compromised if it got into the wrong hands. With just over a month to go, UK businesses don’t have a lot of time to get important points like this right.”

Image source: Shutterstock/Carlos Amarillo

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a freelance journalist with more than 15 years of experience in writing various types of content, from blogs, whitepapers, and reviews to ebooks, and many more, across sites including Al Jazeera Balkans, TechRadar Pro, IT Pro Portal, and CryptoNews.