Some 918 data breaches led to 1.9 billion data records being compromised worldwide in the first half of 2017, according to a new Breach Level Index report from security company Gemalto. Compared with the last six months of 2016, the number of lost, stolen, or compromised records increased by 164 percent.

A large portion of the records impacted came from the 22 largest data breaches, each involving more than one million compromised records, the report said. Of the 918 data breaches, more than 500 (59 percent of all breaches) had an unknown or unaccounted number of compromised data records.

The BLI is a global database that tracks data breaches and measures their severity based on multiple dimensions, including the number of records compromised, the type of data, the source of the breach, how the data was used, and whether the data was encrypted. By assigning a severity score to each breach, the index provides a comparative list of breaches, distinguishing data breaches that aren’t serious versus those that are truly impactful.

According to the report, more than 9 billion data records have been exposed since 2013, when the index began benchmarking publicly disclosed data breaches. During the first six months of 2017, more than 10 million records were compromised or exposed every day, or one hundred and twenty-two records every second, including medical, credit card and/or financial data or personally identifiable information.

Malicious outsiders made up the largest percentage of data breaches (74 percent), an increase of 23 percent. But this source accounted for only 13 percent of all stolen, compromised, or lost records. While malicious insider attacks only made up 8 percent of all breaches, the amount of records compromised was 20 million, up from 500,000.

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Bob Violino

Bob Violino

Bob Violino is a freelance technology and business writer who covers a variety of topics, including big data and analytics, cloud computing, information security and mobile technology.