More Breaches, Fewer Victims
The number of people impacted by the rising number of data compromises is dropping at a rate that could result in the fewest number of victims since before 2015. In the first half of 2021, just 118.6 million people were impacted by data breaches, data exposures and data leaks, just 38 percent of 2020’s total figure out 310 million victims. That’s down sharply from a record 2.5 billion victims in 2016.
Cybercriminals have shifted their attacks to go after criminals and targets considered to be not as well defended in hopes of securing larger ransomware payments, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), which tracks incidents where hackers steal sensitive customer and employee records containing Personally Identifiable Information such as social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, credit card numbers and medical records. As a result, professional services and manufacturing and utilities have seen the most significant rise in data compromises, while healthcare and retail are seeing data compromises drop.
More than 98.2 million individuals were impacted by the 10 biggest data breaches in the first half of 2021, according to information compiled by the ITRC and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Three of the 10 largest breaches impacted technology companies, with two victims each in healthcare and professional services, and one victim each in financial services, retail and other.
Read on to learn how the biggest data breaches of 2021 (so far) transpired.