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Over 4.2 Billion Records Exposed In 4,149 Breaches In 2016

Survey says US and UK witnessed more than half of 2016 global breaches; 52% of attacks compromised Social Security Numbers.

A survey by Risk Based Security reveals that 2016 saw a significant rise in worldwide breaches and data theft with incidents in US (1,971) and UK (204) accounting for more than half of them, NBC News reports. Most alarming, says another study, is the increase in theft of Social Security Numbers (SSN) because 52% of all 2016 breaches involved SSNs – up from 44% in 2015 – carried out through spear-phishing.

Last year, over 4.2 billion records were exposed in 4,149 cyber incidents which is around 3.2 billion more records from the previous high of 2013, with Yahoo breaches contributing majorly to the increase. While businesses were prime targets, accounting for 55% of all attacks, severity of breach had increased, too, with an average severity score of 9.96 out of 10 reported among the 10 biggest breaches of 2016.

Hackers appear to be getting better with sophisticated methods of attacks and more precision, says an Online Trust Alliance report.

“They're targeting specific companies and industry sectors and not just for consumer data, but for business data, data regarding acquisition and mergers, data that may also harm a company's reputation," it adds.

Read full report on NBC News.

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