Report sees 2014 overtaking 2013 in number of breaches

By Erin Ayers on August 26, 2014

data-breach1-300x199New research shows that the first six months of 2014 has outpaced the same period last year in terms of frequency and impact of data breaches, with 1,331 reported incidents in the first half of 2014 and 502 million records exposed.

Risk Based Security, Inc. and the Open Security Foundation’s report suggested that 2014 seems set to overtake 2013’s full-year total of 2,261 incidents.

“When you analyze the data breach activity during the first half of the year, it’s startling to see the jump in reported hacking activity” said Barry Kouns, CEO of Risk Based Security. “Compared to the same time period for 2013, there has been a 59% increase in the number of breaches caused by hacking and a 46% increase in the number of records compromised. Clearly hackers are taking advantage of existing vulnerabilities wherever they can be found, and they can apparently be found everywhere.”

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Kouns noted that 2012’s high of 3,195 incidents is unlikely to be beat in 2014, but this year has already added three incidents to the “top 10 all-time breach” list. The three events included the eBay data breach, which exposed 145 million records; a breach at the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission that exposed 173 million livery records; and an incident of insider fraud at the Korea Credit Bureau that exposed 104 million credit cards with expiration dates, 20 million names, Social Security numbers and phone numbers. Numbers for affected records on Korea Credit Bureau have varied, with some estimates at 220 million.

Businesses were most frequently affected, accounting for 54.9% of all reported incidents and 64.3% of all records exposed; followed by government at 16.1%; other entities at 11.8%; education at 8.7%; and medical at 8.5%.

Risk Based Security noted that hacking resulted in 78.2% of all incidents and 78.7% of exposed records. Fraud accounted for 20.7% of exposed records, but just 2.1% of incidents.'

Erin is the managing editor of Advisen’s Front Page News. She has been covering property-casualty insurance since 2000. Previously, Erin served as editor-in-chief of The Standard, New England’s Insurance Weekly. Erin is based in Boston, Mass. Contact Erin at [email protected].