It looks as though 2016 has been quite a year for cybercrime.
According to Gemalto’s Breach Level Index, in the first six months of 2016, data breaches rose 15 percent, and the number of compromised data records jumped 31 percent compared to the previous six months.
The findings also revealed that 64 percent of all data breaches involve identity and personal data theft.
“Over the past 12 months, hackers have continued to go after both low-hanging fruit and unprotected sensitive personal data that can be used to steal identities,” Jason Hart, VP and CTO for data protection at Gemalto, said in a press release.
“The theft of user names and account affiliation may be irritating for consumers, but the failure of organizations to protect sensitive personal information and identities is a growing problem that will have implications for consumer confidence in the digital services and companies they entrust with their personal data.”
The Breach Level Index, a global database that analyzes data breaches and their severity, showed that 974 reported data breaches took place across the world in the first half of 2016. These data breaches resulted in more than 554 million compromised data records.
The findings show a rise from six months prior, where there were 844 reported data breaches worldwide and 424 million compromised data records.
“In this increasingly digital world, companies, organizations and governments are storing greater and greater amounts of data that has varying levels of sensitivity. At the same time, it is clear that data breaches are going to happen and that companies need to shift from a total reliance on breach prevention to strategies that help them secure the breach,” Hart stated.
“That is why more focus needs to be understanding what really constitutes sensitive data, where it is stored and using the best means to defend it. At the end of the day, the best way to protect data is to kill it. That means ensuring user credentials are secured with strong authentication and sensitive data is protected with encryption so it is useless to the thieves.”