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1.4 Billion Data Records Exposed in 2016 Breaches

The number of data records breached soared in 2016 over the previous year, with the technology sector facing the brunt of the attacks.

Cybercriminals infiltrated some 1.4 billion data records last year – a whopping 86% increase over the previous year, according to a new report released today by digital security firm Gemalto.

This bounty of information was snagged in 1,792 incidents worldwide, which yielded a larger haul with fewer attempts, according to the report. The number of data record breaches fell 4% in 2016, compared with year earlier figures.

Identity theft accounted for 59% of the data breach incidents, a 5% increase from 2015. Account access-based breaches was next in line as the most prevalent type of data breach, even though this form of attack fell by 3% over the previous year. Account access-based attacks accounted for 54% of the 1.4 billion breached records, and the number of affected records rose by 336% over 2015.

"This highlights the cybercriminal trend from financial information attacks to bigger databases with large volumes of personally identifiable information," the report states.

Outside malicious attackers accounted for 68% of the breaches, an increase of 13% from 2015. The most targeted industries included technology, which incurred 11% of the breaches and suffered the largest increase in attacks, with a 55% jump over last year. Healthcare was hit with 28% of all data breaches, with an 11% year-over-year increase in attacks, and financial services, 12% of data breaches, a level that constitutes a 23% decline in attacks compared with last year.

Read more in the Breach Level Index Report.

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