A new report has found that during the first half of 2017, 122 data records were stolen every second. In total, almost 2 billion data records were breached.

The Breach Level Index, published by Gemalto, reports that a total of 1,901,866,611 data records were stolen in the first half of 2017. That’s a 164% increase from the previous six months, amounting to a frequency of 122 records stolen every single second.

The total number of breaches in the same period was 918, which is a 13% increase on the last six months of 2016. Of those 918 breaches, 74% (680) were categorised as identity theft. This figure is up from 49% of all data breaches being identity theft in the last six months of 2016.

Perhaps the most unsettling of all the figures in the report, is that encryption, deployed in part or in full, was used to protect the data stolen in less than 4.6% of all 918 data breaches. The number of individual data records protected by encryption in the first half of 2017 has, bizarrely, dropped to less than 1% from 4% in the second half of 2016.

What the report makes abundantly clear is that our entire identity system has reached breaking point. The number of breaches occurring and number of records stolen in said incidents has reached a record high, while the level of security that companies are using to protect our data is falling. Our data is more vulnerable now than it has ever been.

The report reads: “More and more organisations are accepting the fact that, despite their best efforts, security breaches are unavoidable.”

An easily disputable claim in the knowledge that less than 1% of data records are protected by encryption. A database that is sufficiently protected using cryptographic keys may not be impenetrable, but it does deter hackers from trying in the first place. Criminals will always reach for the low hanging fruit. And right now our most personal data is ripe for the picking.

Rachael Trotman

Rachael Trotman

PR & Events Manager