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Thursday, 26 January 2017 21:34

Nearly half of 2016 data breaches in US: report Featured

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Nearly half of the data breaches worldwide in 2016 were in the United States, according to an annual report issued by Risk Based Security, a company that sells analytics and user-friendly dashboards designed to identify security risks by industry.

About 47.5% of the breaches that led to customer data being exposed, plus 68.2% of the actual breached data, was recorded in the US.

Globally there were a total of 4149 breaches which led to the exposure of more than 4.2 billion records, approximately 3.2 billion more than the previous high in 2013.

More than half of reported breaches — 53.3% — were the result of hacking, which accounted for 91.9% of the exposed records.

The US had nearly 2000 breaches, almost 10 times as many as the next country in line, the United Kingdom, where there were 203 breaches. Australia experienced 59 breaches and was sixth on the list, but did not figure among the top 10 when it came to number of records exposed.

In those 2000 breaches, American organisations lost a total of more than 2.9 billion user records. This was more than 10 times as many as were lost in Russia, which was the second biggest loser.

One reason for the US having such a large number of personal records lost was due to the announcement of two massive breaches by Yahoo! – 500 million in September and a billion in December. The second breach reported by Yahoo! is the largest on record.

If the Yahoo! numbers were subtracted from the US total, the country still was the leader in number of breached rec cords, though the difference with Russia was five to one.

The business sector saw 51% of reported breaches, followed by unknown categories (23.4%), government (11.7%), medical (9.2%), and education (4.7%).

Malware accounted for 4.5% of the reported breaches, but represented just 0.4% of the records compromised.

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Sam Varghese

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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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