The number of U.S. data breaches tracked in 2016 hit an all-time record high of 1,093, according to a new report by the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) and CyberScout. This represents a substantial hike of 40 percent over the near record high of 780 reported in 2015.
This raises the question: are there actually more breaches or is it because more states are making this information publicly available?
“For the past 10 years, the ITRC has been aware of the under-reporting of data breach incidents on the national level and the need for more state or federal agencies to make breach notifications more publicly available. This year we have seen a number of states take this step by making data breach notifications public on their websites. The ITRC Data Breach Report 2016 now includes information from more than a dozen state agencies,” said Eva Velasquez, President and CEO, ITRC.
Since 2005, the ITRC has been identifying data breaches in five industry sectors. In 2016, the business sector again topped the list in the number of data breach incidents, with 494 reported, representing 45.2 percent of the overall number of breaches. This was followed by the healthcare/medical industry (377 incidents), representing 34.5 percent of the overall total. The education sector (98) followed at 9.0 percent, the government/military (72) at 6.6 percent and the banking/credit /financial sector (52) at 4.8 percent.