Technology is changing rapidly on a daily basis and with it comes hackers looking to monetize from stolen personal and business records. Data breaches continue to take place and have become larger in number and impact over recent years. 2015 was a particularly notable year because it included some of the largest data breaches seen yet. Among breaches in 2015 was the CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield breach in May which exposed the vulnerabilities of the healthcare industry, and the billion-dollar bank cyberheist that affected 100 banks around the world in February.
Gemalto’s 2015 Annual Breach Level Index Report illustrates the advancements of hackers and the severity of data breaches that took place in 2015. Below is data from the report that breaks down data breaches per industry that took place in 2015.
Government: Government agencies and other public sector entities accounted for almost half of the compromised data in 2015 at 43%. This was an increase of 476% from 2014 due to the large data breaches in the United States and Turkey. The number of attached was 262 (16%). The average number of records exposed per attack was more than 1,129,000.
Healthcare: Similar to government agencies, the number of records exposed rose greatly in 2015 compared to 2014 at a 217% increase. The healthcare industry accounted for 19% (134 million) of total records compromised. The total number of breaches during the year was 374, which accounts for 22% of all breaches in 2015.
Retail: Surprisingly, the number of stolen records in the retail industry was down 93% in 2015 compared to 2014. The total number of data breaches for the year was 217, which accounts for 13% of the total number of breaches in 2015. The number of data breaches in 2015 was the highest it ever has been, which is why it is remarkable that the number of records stolen in the retail industry was dramatically reduced.
Financial: Although the number of breaches went up, the number of stolen records in the financial industry was down 99% in 2015 compared to 2014. The total number of records hacked was 1.1 million, which made up only 0.1% of compromised data records in 2015. The industry experiences 253 breaches, which made up 15% of the total number of breaches in 2015.
Education: Educational organizations were not big targets in 2015. As a total, they experienced 150 breaches, making up only 9% of the total in 2015. These breaches consisted of 19.3 million exposed records, making up 3% of the total number of exposed records in 2015.
Technology: The technology industry wasn’t as highly targeted in 2015 as it was predicted to be. The industry made up for only 6.2% of the total breaches in 2015 with a total of 104 data breaches. The number of records exposed in these breaches was 84.4 million, making up 12% of the total for the year.
The healthcare industry continually stands out as one of the most targeted industries. Personal health information is highly valuable and a very attractive target for cyber criminals. The finance industry has responded well since 2013 by implementing stronger data encryption technology, resulting in a decrease in data breaches in 2015. Fortunately, all industries are taking the hint and most are shifting to cloud-based operations, which allows for safer data storage methods if equipped with advanced data protection measures, such as Cyphre’s BlackTIE encryption technology.