15.1 billion records exposed in 2019 as data breaches hit a new high

data breach

The total number of records exposed by data breaches increased by 284 percent last year compared to 2018, with over 15.1 billion records exposed in total.

This is one of the findings of the 2019 Year End Data Breach QuickView Report from Risk Based Security although the total number of 2019 breaches disclosed so far (7,098) is up only one percent.

"2019 was a rough year for breach activity, with reported breaches reaching an all-time high and the number of records exposed up 284 percent compared to 2018," says Inga Goddijn, executive vice president at Risk Based Security. "As ghastly as those numbers are, there is much more to the story of 2019 and it's not entirely bad news. One bright spot is that the number of incidents where sensitive data was accessible but not confirmed as taken increased to 22.6 percent of breaches, compared to 18 percent at the close of 2018. So while the total number of unique records exposed was very high for certain events, the number of individuals whose data was put at risk is far fewer."

There has been a spike in activity towards the end of the year, since the Q3 report 7.2 billion records have been compromised, with just four events accounting for 93.5 percent of those records. The cause of these breaches being open and misconfigured databases that were made publicly accessible to anyone motivated to seek them out.

"The interest in finding these rich sources of information shows little sign of abating," adds Goddijn. "Thanks to the combination of low risk detection and low barrier of entry into this type of activity, we anticipate open, unsecured data will continue to be an issue well into the new decade."

You can find out more in the full report, available from the Risk Based Security site.

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