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Thursday, 16 August 2018 09:19

Australia fifth on global data breach list for HY2018

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Australia fifth on global data breach list for HY2018 Pixabay

Australia recorded 24 data breaches in the first six months of 2018, and stood fifth globally on a list that was headed by the US with 1074 leaks, according to the security firm Risk Based Security which recorded a total of 2308 breaches worldwide for the period.

More than 20 million records were exposed in the Australian breaches, which put the country again fifth on the list of countries by exposed records.

The breach of India's Aadhar database, which holds biometric data for most of the country's 1.3 billion people, took spot for the number of records exposed in a breach, at about 1.3 billion.

midyear breaches

The UK (62 breaches) was second on the global list of breaches, followed by Canada (48) and India (45). France (16) took the sixth spot, followed by Germany (15), Brazil (11), Denmark (8) and New Zealand (7).

The report said that after the EU's General Data Protection Regulation took effect on 25 May, there was a spike in the number of breaches reported across European countries.

The US had a total 1.03 billion of records exposed in breaches, to be second after India, followed by Germany (120 million) in third place.

"(The year) 2018 has been a curious year. After the wild ride of 2017, we became accustomed to seeing a lot of breaches, exposing extraordinary amounts of information. 2018 is remarkable in that the number of public disclosed breaches appears to be levelling off while the number of records exposed remains stubbornly high,” said Inga Goddijn, executive vice-president of Risk Based Security.

breaches2

“It’s not easy to characterise 2.6 billion records exposed as an improvement, even if it is less than the six billion exposed at this time last year.”

Other global highlights of the report:

  • The number of disclosed instances targeting employee W-2 forms remained low, with 42 such breaches reported through Q2 2018 compared to 239 for the corresponding period in 2017.
  • The business sector accounted for 40% of reported breaches, followed by medical (8.3%), government (8.2%) and education (4.5%). Nearly 40% of breached organisations could not be definitively classified.
  • Five breaches exposed 100 million or more records, accounting for approximately 2 billion of the 2.6 billion total exposed records.
  • The business sector accounted for 52% of the records exposed followed by Government at 2%. The pattern from 2017 remains the same, with the medical and education sectors combined accounting for less than 1% of the total records exposed through the first six months of the year.
  • Fraud remains in the top spot for the breach type compromising the most records, accounting for 47.5% of exposed records, while hacking takes the lead in number of incidents, accounting for 54.6% of reported breaches.

midyear countries

"While we expect hacking to remain the leading cause of data loss, we can’t lose sight of the damage that can come from accidental exposure," said Goddijn.

"Misconfigured services, exposed S3 buckets and even improper email handling have led to more than their fair share of recent breaches. This type of data loss is easily prevented and protecting against it is nearly entirely within the organisation’s control. It shouldn’t be overlooked in the quest to prevent external attacks.”

Graphics: courtesy Risk Based Security

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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