Identity theft accounts for ‘majority of data breaches’


Theft of identities along with personal information still accounts for the majority of data breaches, a new global survey by Gemalto has found.

According to the 2015 Breach Level Index (BLI), identity theft accounted for 53% of all data breaches as well as 40% of “all compromised records” last year.

Jason Hart, vice president and chief technology officer for data protection at Gemalto, said of the findings: “In 2014, consumers may have been concerned about having their credit card numbers stolen … however, in 2015 criminals shifted to attacks on personal information and identity theft.”

He was also quick to point out that as organizations and devices continue to collect personal data from their users, trust becomes the most important factor when it comes to deciding whom to go into business with.

The BLI is a database that tracks global data breaches, measuring their significance according to a number of variants including whether or not the data was encrypted, as well as the source of the breach.

The survey also reveals that healthcare and government data breaches have overtaken those in the retail sector.

The government sector accounted for 43% of compromised data records, mainly as a result of several very large data breaches in the US.

The healthcare sector accounted for 19% of compromised data records while retail saw a significant 93% drop in the number of data breaches in 2015.

According to the BLI, 77% of all data breaches occurred in North America while 12% occurred in Europe. The Asia Pacific region accounted for 8% in total.

Mr. Hart also had some words of advice with regards to companies protecting themselves from data breaches, stating that: “Even if a breach occurs, it can be a secure breach if the right security technologies such as encryption are properly in place to protect the most important and sensitive data.”

by Narinder Purba, ESET We Live Security

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