Symantec Study Confirms Data Breaks Rose 23% in 2014

It’s April, which indicates the announcement of the Symantec Yearly Internet Security Statement. Every year the security software business issues a report collected from the files that it accumulated throughout the course of the previous year. The statement – which can be viewed here – is an awareness of the overall condition of cybersecurity. The figures demonstrate that the quantity of security breaches increased 23% in 2014.

The statement contains all businesses, including healthcare, with the majority of data break victims impacted by retail business security breaks. Hacking happenings caused files to be revealed on a colossal scale and although there were less “mega-breaches” in 2014 – 4 breaks of over 10 million documents compared to 8 the preceding year – the report says that data break happenings are still the main issue. Hackers were guilty of a huge number of the extra 23% of security breaks.

The report indicates that there were less cases of identity revelation despite the total 23% rise. The report implies ”this could show that a number of breaks— possibly the majority—go undetected or unreported.” Some businesses are not greatly controlled and while it’s a legal prerequisite to report data breaks in the healthcare and financial areas, in others there isn’t so much of a responsibility to make a public declaration. The report unearthed that one-fifth of data breaks is not reported, which is a 7% increase year on year.

2014 Security Break Report Statistics

The report shows there were 312 security breaks in total in 2014 as compared to 253 in 2013. The total quantity of identities revealed in these cases was 348 million, as compared to 552 million in 2013. The average quantity of identities per break decreased by half from 2.2 million in 2013 to 1.1 million in 2014. The average identities revealed per break increased from 6,777 in 2013 to 7,000 in 2014.

It was a terrible year for the retail business, which recorded over double the quantity of revealed identities than the healthcare, financial, Govt. as well as public sectors united, with 205 million identities revealed. The financial business was 2nd with 80 million, after that the computer software business with 35 million, and 7 million for each of the government and public category and the healthcare business.

Healthcare Business Informs the Highest Quantity of Breaks

In terms of quantity of people impacted, the healthcare business seems to have had 12 months of comparatively quiet and peace, with security happenings accounting for only 2% of the quantities of victims produced.

The report demonstrates that it has obviously not been all simple sailing for the healthcare sector, which led the tables for the quantity of security happenings recorded. Healthcare informed 116 happenings, constituting for 37% of the whole year. Retail was 2nd with 34 happenings (11%), Education 3rd with 31 (10%), with 26 for Govt.  and Public (8%) and 19 for the financial business (6%).

It might only be April however, there has already been a reasonable warning of what following year’s security break figures will appear like. Current year has been the healthcare business’s turn to be attacked by cybercriminals, and there has already been the 78.8 million highest data break at Anthem Inc. and an 11-million highest data break at Premera.

Although high-tech attacks by cybercriminals might be on the increase – and they can definitely cause the most damage – it’s not servers and networks that are at maximum risk of causing breaks. Doctors carrying unencrypted laptops home and using them on their unsafe home networks, Employee disclosures, and insider snooping are all much larger risks. According to lawyer Adam Greene in a report at HIMSS 2015, thievery of these appliances accounts for 53% of all data breaks.

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Mark Wilson

Mark Wilson is a news reporter specializing in information technology cyber security. Mark has contributed to leading publications and spoken at international forums with a focus on cybersecurity threats and the importance of data privacy. Mark is a computer science graduate.