April 5, 2017

No Surprise, Data Breaches Continue to Rise

2 minute read

There were 1,792 data breaches in 2016, which led to almost 1.4 billion data records being exposed worldwide, according to the Breach Level Index (BLI) report from Gemalto. This is up nearly 300% from 2015.

Unsurprisingly, identity theft was the leading type of data breach, accounting for 59 percent of all data breaches. The BLI is a global database that tracks data breaches and measures their severity based on multiple factors including the number of records compromised, type of data, source of the breach and how the data was used.

According to the BLI, more than 7 billion data records have been exposed since 2013, when the index began benchmarking publicly disclosed data breaches. That amounts to more than 3 million records compromised every day, or about 44 records every second.

The report also highlighted the cybercriminal trend from financial information attacks to bigger databases with large volumes of personally identifiable information.

Information Governance Can Help

These data breaches can have enormous legal, financial and reputational consequences and a proactive governance plan can help to limit compliance risk. Below is an excerpt from one of our recent blog posts that lays out some of these strategies:

1. Clearly establish ownership of compliance and data privacy


2. Assess the process for any information shared outside the organization


3. Identify any Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and create appropriate business processes that include IT, legal and the records management team


4. Ensure policies are in place to meet federal, state, local and industry regulations


5. PII must be limited not only by user but by location


6. Clean up ROT data based on an approved retention schedule


7. Use encryption techniques whenever possible


8. The ability to have audit trails, logging and monitoring is essential to defensible disposition


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