10 million data records compromised in the ME in 2016; Gemalto
Globally, identity and personal data theft account for 64% of all data breaches, highlights Gemalto
Gemalto's Breach Level Index showcased that data breaches in the Middle East had increased by 50% in the first six months of 2016.
It found that 10,537,437 data records were compromised, compared to 66,050 records in 2015, across the Middle East region.
According to the Breach Level Index, more than 4.75 billion data records have been exposed since 2013 when the index began benchmarking publicly disclosed data breaches. For the first six months of 2016, identity theft was the leading type of data breach, accounting for 64% of all data breaches, up from 53% in the previous six months. Malicious outsiders were the leading source of data breaches, accounting for 69% of breaches, up from 56% in the previous six months.
Sebastien Pavie, regional director, MEA, Identity and Data Protection, Gemalto, said: "Over the past twelve months, hackers have continued to go after unprotected sensitive personal data that can be used to steal identities.
"The theft of user names and account affiliation may be irritating for consumers to begin with, but the failure of organisations to protect sensitive personal information and identities will have long-term implications for consumer confidence in the digital services and companies they entrust with their personal data."
On a global scale, across industries, the healthcare industry accounted for 27% of data breaches, which saw an increase of 25% compared to the previous six months. However, healthcare represented just 5% of compromised data records versus 12% in the previous six months. Government accounted for 14% of all data breaches, which was the same as the previous six months, but represented 57% of compromised records.
Furthermore, financial services companies accounted for 12% of all data breaches, a 4% decline compared to previous six months, and accounted for just 2% of compromised data records. Retail accounted for 11% of data breaches, and declined 6% versus the previous six months, and accounted for 3% of compromised data records. Education accounted for 11% of data breaches and represented less than one percent of all compromised records. All other industries represented 16% of data breaches and 16% of compromised data records.
Pavie added: "In this increasingly digital world, companies, organizations and governments are storing greater and greater amounts of data that have varying levels of sensitivity. At the same time, it is clear that data breaches are inevitable and that companies need to shift from a total reliance on breach prevention to strategies that help them secure the breach. That is why more focus needs to be understanding what really constitutes sensitive data, where it is stored, and using the best means to defend it.
"At the end of the day, the best way to protect data is to kill it. That means ensuring user credentials are secured with strong authentication and sensitive data is protected with encryption so it is useless to the thieves," concluded Pavie.
The Breach Level Index 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 or not the data was encrypted.