SafeNet Breach Level Index tracked 237 incidents in Q2 14
Over 175m customer records compromised in 237 data breaches in second quarter
There were 237 data breaches reported publicly during the second quarter of 2014, according to security company SafeNet.
SafeNet's Breach Level Index (BLI) which tracks the number and severity of reported incidents worldwide, found that over 175 million customer records were compromised in the quarter. For the first half of 2014, more than 375 million customer records were stolen or lost as a result of 559 breaches worldwide.
In the Middle East and Africa region there were seven reported incidents in Q2, including in Syria, Egypt, Pakistan and South Africa.
The index showed that in less than 5% of the incidents, the target organization used encryption of data, while only two of the 237 incidents could be classified as secure breaches in which encryption restricted the access of stolen data.
The retail industry had more data records compromised than any other industry during the second quarter, with more than145 million records stolen or lost, or 83% of all data records breached, while government was the second least secure sector after retail, accounting for 11% of all records that were lost or stolen.
"Even amidst continued warnings about data security, the breach epidemic is trending in the wrong direction. 2014 has proven to be more of the same, with 375 million customer records stolen in the first six months alone," said Sebastien Pavie, Regional Sales Director Middle East and Africa, SafeNet.
"While it's not surprising that sophisticated cybercriminals are gaining access to critical data stores, what is surprising is that only one percent of breached records had been encrypted. The benefits of encryption have been known for some time, but companies just aren't doing it. It's the security industry's equivalent of flossing your teeth. Everyone knows it's good for you and the technology is proven, but only a small percentage of companies do it well."
The BLI provides a centralised, global database of data breaches and calculates their severity based on multiple dimensions, including the type of data and the number of records stolen, the source of the breach, and whether or not the data was encrypted.
SafeNet also announced the results of a global survey of more than 4,500 adult consumers in which nearly 40 percent of respondents said they would never, or were very unlikely to, shop or do business again with a company that had experienced a data breach. This sentiment increased to 65 percent if the data breach involved customers' financial and sensitive information.