Page 3 - BLI Annual Report 2015
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In 2015, data breaches got much more personal
than in previous years. While cybercriminals made headlines stealing credit card data and financial information in 2013 and 2014, the theft of personal information and identities took center stage in 2015. In fact, this type of theft accounted for 53% of all data breaches last year.
Perhaps the best thing one can say about 2015—from a data breach standpoint—is that it wasn’t 2014. The prior year was historic in terms of big, high- profile data breaches and a number of lesser-known attacks that resulted in the theft of more than one billion data records.
That’s not to say 2015 was easy for information security and IT executives—not by a long shot. The year had its own share of highly publicized and damaging attacks, and these incidents continued to keep cyber security in the headlines. In fact, there were 46 data breaches that involved the loss or theft of one million or more data records.
2015 Key Findings
According to data collected in
the Breach Level Index (BLI), there were 1,673 reported data breaches in 2015, which resulted in more than 707.5 million records being compromised worldwide. Compared to 2014, the total number of data breaches actually declined by 3.4% and the total number of compromised records dropped by 39%.
Malicious outsiders accounted for 58% of all data breaches – more than any other source. The theft of personal information and identities lead all other types of data theft, accounting for 53% of all data breaches. The healthcare industry led all sectors, accounting for 22% of all data breaches. However, government accounted 43% of all lost or stolen data records, more than any other industry sector.
From a time perspective, in 2015 some 1,938,383 data records were stolen or lost every day, 80,766 every hour, 1,346 every minute and 22 every second. So, in the time it took to read the previous sentence, about 400 data records would have been stolen or lost.
Another interesting statistic is that of all the data breaches
in 2015, 47% of them had an unknown number of compromised records, demonstrating that the actual number of compromised records is actually understated.
And despite the growing interest of encryption technology as a means to protect for information and privacy, only 60 of the reported data breach incidents in 2015,
or less than 4% of the total, involved data that was encrypted in part or in full.
To create this report, Gemalto, a leading global provider of digital security solutions, has collected extensive publicly- available information about data breaches around the world. The information is aggregated in the Breach Level Index, a database Gemalto maintains on data breaches globally.
The report analyzes the data in terms of the number of breaches, the number of data records lost, and data breaches by industry, type of breach, source of the breach and by country or region.

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