Data Breach Incidents Rise So Far in 2016

The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) reports that there has been a total of 83 data breaches recorded thus far in 2016, and that more than 1.6 million records have been exposed since the beginning of the year.

The Identity Theft Resource Center provides education for consumers, corporations, government agencies, and other organizations on best practices for fraud and identity theft detection, reduction and mitigation. Serving as a resource on consumer issues related to cybersecurity, data breaches, social media, fraud, scams and other issues, ITRC provides victim assistance at no charge to consumers throughout the United States.

The ITRC data breach list is a compilation of data breaches confirmed by various media sources and/or notification lists from state governmental agencies. This list is updated daily and posted online on a weekly basis.

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Data breaches identified on this list typically have exposed information which could potentially lead to identity theft, including Social Security numbers, financial account information, medical information, and even email addresses and passwords. ITRC follows U.S. Federal guidelines about what combination of personal information comprise a unique individual, and the exposure of which will constitute a data breach.

Here’s a brief summary of the ITRC report results through February 16, 2016:

  • The business sector—which includes retail—has claimed the most incidents so far in 2016, accounting for over 106,000 exposed records that involve 32 incidents so far in 2016. Business breaches now represent 38.6% of the incidents, the most of any sector, and 6.7% of the exposed records. These data breaches include 2016 retail incidents at Wendy’s and Neiman Marcus Group.
  • The medical/health care sector has claimed the highest number of records exposed thus far in 2016, with the number of records exposed in these breaches totaling nearly 1.3 million, or 79.1% of the total records. This sector has also posted the second-largest percentage of the total breaches so far this year with 29 incidents, or 34.9% of the total.
  • The educational sector has experienced 12 data breaches thus far in 2016. The sector accounts for 14.5% of all breaches for the year and more than 222,000 exposed records.
  • The government/military sector has suffered seven data breaches so far this year, representing about 0.1% of the total number of records exposed so far this year and 8.4% of the incidents. Nearly 2,000 records have been compromised in the government/military sector to date in 2016.
  • The number of banking/credit/financial breaches totals three for the year to date and involves more than 4,000 records. Some 3.6% of the total number of breaches and 0.3% of the records exposed.

ITRC Report Feb 2016

Since ITRC began to track data breaches in 2005, 5,810 breaches have been reported through December 2015—accounting for more than 847 million records.

The total number of data breaches in 2015 came in at 781, just two shy of the record 783 data breaches that ITRC tracked in 2014. A total of more than 169 million records were exposed in 2015. The 83 data breaches reported so far for 2016 match the number reported for the same period last year.

To learn more and view the full report click here.

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