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Data leaks up by one third: InfoWatch

Annual data leakage report shows 32% YoY rise in incidents in H2 2014

Kaspersky: At this rate, we predict an annual increase in leaks at 10% to 15%.
Kaspersky: At this rate, we predict an annual increase in leaks at 10% to 15%.

Data protection firm, InfoWatch, today announced the release of its "Global Data Leakage" report for 2014, which reports more than 650 cases of data leaks recorded in the first half of 2014.

The recorded incidents accounted for an estimated 450m records compromised, including financial and personal data across multiple sectors, according to InfoWatch. 

The findings show that the first half of 2014 has seen 32% more leaks than in the same period in 2013. For the first time, InfoWatch's Global Data Report has also recorded external attacks leading to data leaks, which the company cited as an explanation for the sizeable increase in recorded leaks.

The research also shows that employees working in several information sensitive industries are responsible for intentionally leaking confidential data for personal gain. While in 2013 there was a large increase in data leaks from government agencies, in 2014 the study reports that this top spot has now been taken over by leaks in educational and municipal institutions. The second most compromised sector remains government bodies, and the advanced technology industry is in third place and is fast catching up.

In the six-month period, there were a total of 14 major data leaks recorded, in which more than 430m items of data were compromised, accounting for 95% of the total data leaks recorded. Among these leaks, according to InfoWatch, are those from companies such as Experian, Evernote, Snapchat and Orange. In 71% of incidents, company employees were responsible for information leaks, and 1% were caused by senior executives. Some 89% were related to personal or payment data, 75% of which were linked to identity theft.

"InfoWatch has been monitoring the global data leakage landscape for many years now, and it is not surprising for us to note the increase in leaks," said Natalya Kaspersky, CEO, InfoWatch Group of Companies. "At this rate, we predict an annual increase in leaks at 10% to 15%. Given the latest numbers, and with the increase in data usage and consumption, companies should take this threat very seriously and ensure they have the right measures in place to protect this information."