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Security Breaches are increasing at a Record Pace in 2017
Friday, July 21, 2017 6:45 AM

Tracked through June 30, 2017 the number of security breaches in the U.S. is up 29% over 2016 during the same period, according to a report from the San Diego-based Identity Theft Resource Center and Providence, R.I.-based CyberScout (formerly IDT911).

At this pace,  half-year high of 791, ITRC anticipates the number of breaches could reach 1,500 in 2017, a 37% annual increase over 2016, when breaches reached a record high of 1,093 incidents. The breaches so far exposed 12,389,462 reported records.

Broken down by industry category:

  • Business = 61%
  • Medical/Healthcare = 24.3%
  • Educational = 8.7%
  • Banking/Credit/Financial = 4.2%
  • Government/Military = 1.7%

Hacking, which includes phishing, ransomware/malware and skimming, was the leading cause of data breaches in the first half of 2017.  To date, 63% of the overall breaches involved hacking as the primary method of attack. Within the hacking category, phishing was involved in nearly half (47.7%) of these attacks. Ransomware/malware, newly added in 2017, represents 18.5% of hacking attacks.

Following are the Top 3 2017 U.S. data breaches, at the halfway point, based on confirmed, exposed personally identifiable information records.

1. America’s Joblink Alliance: 4,800,000 records
The information exposed included the names, Social Security numbers and birthdates of job seekers in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Oklahoma and Vermont.

2. Schoolzilla: 1.3 Million Records
The exposed information included the names, addresses, birth dates and test scores of 14,000 current and former students in the Palo Alto school district and more than a million Social Security numbers of other individuals.

3. Washington State University - Social & Economic Sciences: 1 Million Records
The university learned about the theft of a locked safe containing a hard drive. Not all of the information on the drive was encrypted and the school determined the hard drive contained some personal information, including names and addresses.