U.S. data breaches reached record high in 2016: Report

By Cameron Abbott 

According to a report highlighting findings from the Identity Theft Resource Center and CyberScout:

  • Data breaches in the U.S. reached an all-time high in 2016, with the number of breaches tracked reaching 1,093, a 40% increase from the year earlier
  • The financial services industry accounted for only 52 of the breaches, or 4.8%, making it the least hit of the five industries tracked. Business, healthcare, education and the government and military were hacked more than the financial services industry
  • For the eighth consecutive year, hacking, skimming and phishing were the main drivers of data breaches, representing 55.5% of all reported incidents. Many were due to CEO phishing in which sensitive data is exposed
  • While consumers and businesses are constantly warned to pay close attention to their email, breaches that used email and the internet as a way to hack people only accounted for 9.2% of all the hacks, while employee error was responsible for 8.7% of the hacks.

This isn’t the first data set to show that data breaches surged in 2016. According to Gemalto’s Breach Level Index, in the first six months of 2016, data breaches rose 15%, and the number of compromised data records jumped 31% compared to the previous six months. The findings also revealed that 64% of all data breaches involve identity and personal data theft.

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