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1 Billion Data Records Were Compromised in 2014

1 Billion Data Records Were Compromised in 2014

by Drew CordellFebruary 20, 2015

In 2014, there were over 1,500 data breaches that compromised nearly 1 billion data records according to a report from Gemalto, a Netherlands-based security firm. The report showed that 54 percent of the breaches were related to identity theft, which signals a 23 percent increase from 2013.

Identity theft surpassed attacks for access to financial information that only accounted for 17 percent of the recorded breaches in 2014. Data breaches in general increased by 49 percent from 2013 and compromised data records increased by 78 percent over the same period of time.

Not a good sign

hackedAccording to the report, the decrease in bank and credit card breaches and an increase in identity theft is not a good sign.

Identity theft could lead to the opening of new fraudulent credit accounts, creating false identities for criminal enterprises, or a host of other serious crimes. As data breaches become more personal, we’re starting to see that the universe of risk exposure for the average person is expanding,

Tsion Gonen, Gemalto’s vice president of strategy for identity and data protection said.

Major data breaches are becoming increasingly common. Anthem, a major health insurer in the United States was hacked in January. Target’s CEO was forced to resign after hackers stole 40 million customer’s credit card information. The hacks gained access to a database that contained social security numbers and the addresses of around 80 million people.

Last week, the White Hose announced the creation of the Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center or CTIIC to improve the nation’s cyber-security. President Obama also announced measures to protect companies that quickly report data breaches with the Department of Homeland Security. While these measures are a good step in the right direction, data breaches are increasing rapidly and becoming more sophisticated. Without further action, the frequency and severity of these data breaches will continue to rise.

Images via Shutterstock.

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