No fewer than 246 million records were comprised globally by 888 data breaches, according to findings of the Breach Level Index (BLI) released by Gemalto for the first six months of 2015.
Gemalto, the world leader in digital security says the Breach Level Index revealed that data breaches increased 10% compared to the first half of 2014 while the number of compromised data records declined by 41%during the first six months of 2015.
The decline in compromised records, according to Gelmato, can most likely be attributed to that fact that fewer large-scale mega breaches have occurred in the retail industry compared to the same period last year.
[blockquote right=”pull-right” cite=”Gemalto”]“The largest breach in the first half of 2015 – which scored a 10 in terms of severity on the Breach Level Index – was an identity theft attack on Anthem Insurance that exposed 78.8 million records, representing almost a third (32%) of the total data records stolen in the first six months of 2015.” [/blockquote]
According the digital security company, despite the decrease in the number of compromised records, large data breaches continued to expose massive amounts of personal information and identities.
The largest breach in the first half of 2015 – which scored a 10 in terms of severity on the Breach Level Index – was an identity theft attack on Anthem Insurance that exposed 78.8 million records, representing almost a third (32%) of the total data records stolen in the first six months of 2015.
Other notable breaches during this analysis period included a 21-million-record breach at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (BLI: 9.7); a 50-million-record breach at Turkey’s General Directorate of Population and Citizenship Affairs (BLI: 9.3); and a 20-million-record breach at Russia’s Topface (BLI: 9.2). The top 10 breaches accounted for 81.4% of all compromised records.
“What we’re continuing to see is a large ROI for hackers with sophisticated attacks that expose massive amounts of data records. Cyber criminals are still getting away with big and very valuable data sets. For instance, the average healthcare data breach in the first half of 2015 netted more than 450,000 data records, which is an increase of 200 percent compared to the same time last year,” Jason Hart, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Data Protection at Gemalto said.
According to Forrester, as cybercriminals have become more skillful and sophisticated, they have eroded the effectiveness of traditional perimeter-based security controls. The constantly mutating threat landscape requires new defensive measures, one of which is the pervasive use of data encryption technologies. In the future, organizations will encrypt data —both in motion and at rest — by default. This data-centric approach to security is a much more effective way to keep up with determined cybercriminals. By encrypting, and thereby devaluing sensitive data, organizations can make cybercriminals bypass their networks and look for less robustly protected targets, Gemalto says.