Data breaches exposed 2.8 billion consumer records in 2018

data breach

New data from digital identity platform ForgeRock reveals that data breaches cost US organizations over $654 billion as well as exposing more than 2.8 billion consumer records.

Personally identifiable information (PII) was the most targeted data for breaches in 2018, accounting for 97 percent of all breaches, with unauthorized access encompassing 34 percent of all attacks.

Healthcare, financial services and government are the sectors most impacted by cyberattacks. Almost half (48 percent) of all consumer data breaches happened in healthcare, four times as many in any other sector. Financial services and government are the second and third most targeted industries, collectively making up 20 percent of all breaches.

Breaches in financial services are down 20 percent in Q1 2019, compared to Q1 2018, but over 26.9 million consumer records were compromised in the Q1 2019 breaches alone, which is a 78,900 percent increase. Dates of birth and/or social security numbers are the most frequently compromised type of PII in 2018, with 54 percent of breaches exposing this data. Name and physical address (49 percent) and personal health information (46 percent) are the second and third most commonly compromised PII types in 2018.

"It's clear from our research findings that consumer data is valuable and highly sought after by cybercriminals as well as very difficult for organizations to protect," says Eve Maler, VP of Innovation and emerging technology at ForgeRock. "Organizations can protect consumer data by implementing a strong customer identity management program. Every industry has incentives to avoid brand damage and costly breaches, and so organizations must use modern identity standards and practices to secure their infrastructure, from servers all the way out to client apps and smart devices at the edge."

The full US Consumer Data Breach Report is available from the ForgeRock site.

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