stolen data recordsNearly 1.4 billion data records were stolen by hackers or lost during 2016, almost double the number of what was comprised the previous year, according to figures published in Gemalto’s Breach Level Index Report for 2016.   This number is on the rise and indicates the ever-growing threat posed not only by cyber-attackers but accidental data breaches and malicious insiders. Erik and Amy discuss this shocking report on this segment of the Bottom Line IT.

These stolen data records contain identifiable personal information including names, email addresses, passwords, dates of birth, IP addresses. Even biometric data was stolen from or lost by organizations and websites throughout 2016.

Hackers and cyber-attacks are by far the leading cause of data breaches, with these malicious outsiders accounting for 1,223 incidents detailed in the report, just over two-thirds of the breaches which occurred during 2016.

Accidental loss of data accounts for 19 percent of incidents in which data was compromised, while nine percent were as a result of malicious insiders – employees who are actively working to leak data, be they doing so for revenge, financial gain or being coerced through blackmail.

The most common reason for hackers to carry out a cyber-attack in 2016 was identity theft, with three out of five breaches occurring as hackers wanted access to personal data. These are money making organizations that are financially motivated. Once they have the first layer of data, they use that to get to next, in order to carry out more sophisticated attacks.

Stolen data of this kind can be used for anything from carrying out fraud to gaining access to other accounts owned by the victim, especially if they use the same weak password. Weak passwords are a big reason for information getting hacked. Many times people use the same weak passwords across all accounts, which increase the risk.

As we have stated many times at ASK regarding a cyber-attack, it’s not if, it’s when. If you’re concerned about your business’ security, let us help. ASK’s Enhanced Security Services can help you understand the risks and prepare for any security incident that comes your way.

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To learn more about ASK cyber security and how we can help your business take the hassle out of technology, contact us today!