According to a new report, the number of data breaches increased by 68 percent last year, reaching its highest level ever.
According to the Personal Theft Resource Center’s 2021 Data Violation Report, 1,862 data breaches occurred last year, surpassing the previous record of 1,108 in 2020 and 1,506 in 2017.
The figures represent a year of high-profile cyberattacks targeting everything from the country’s largest oil pipelines to companies where the personal information of millions of American consumers is trusted.
ITRC chairman and CEO Eva Velasquez described the number of violations as “disturbing”.
“There is no reason to believe that the level of information concessions will suddenly fall in 2022,” Velasquez said in a statement. he said. “As organizations of all sizes struggle to protect their data, good cyber hygiene practices are important for everyone to protect themselves and their loved ones from these crimes.”
The percentage of violations involving sensitive information, such as Social Security numbers, rose slightly to 83 percent from 80 percent a year earlier, but was well below the 2017 record of 95 percent.
On the other hand, the number of people affected by data breaches fell by about 5 percent last year to 294 million. However, the ITRC attributed the decline to cybercriminals focusing on smaller, more focused attacks rather than mass data theft.
The center also noted that ransomware attacks have doubled in the last two years, accounting for 22 percent of the total number of cyberattacks reported in 2021. ITRC said that at this growth rate, ransomware will pass phishing as the biggest cause of data corruption. this year.
According to the industry, last year the number of violations increased in all areas, except for the military, which said that no information was violated. The largest increase was in production and utilities, where the number of violations more than doubled.