More than 375 million customer data records were compromised in the first half of this year, in a staggering 559 data beaches. The retail industry was hit the hardest, with over 145 million records stolen or lost in the second quarter alone.
These statistics came as part of a new report from SafeNet, a global provider of data protection solutions for wireless networks and other systems headquartered in the United States.
In the second quarter of the year, less than one per cent of the 237 breaches were so-called 'secure breaches' – where strong encryption or authentication measures were in place to prevent the data from being used.
"While it's not surprising that sophisticated cyber criminals are gaining access to critical data stores, what is surprising is that only one per cent of breached records had been encrypted," said Tsion Gonen, the chief strategy officer for SafeNet.
A look at various sectors
The healthcare industry accounted for 23 per cent of all breach incidents, but had less than one per cent of all records actually stolen within the quarter.
The government sector was found to next least secure following the retail industry, accounting for 11 per cent of all records lost or stolen.
Financial services records breaches decreased from the first quarter of the year, accounting for less than one per cent.
The benefits of encryption have been known for some time, but companies just aren't doing it," Mr Gonen explained. "[The] technology is proven, but only a small percentage of companies do it well."
The importance of appropriate solutions
Businesses need to ensure security is appropriately dealt with, both in terms of actual systems and staff training. Security need to be put in place on both networks and staff devices, but training is often even more important.
With appropriate staff education, personnel understand what can cause a data breach, and the best preventative actions to take.
Without adequate protections such as vulnerability management in place, there's no denying that these high data breach numbers will continue into the latter half of the year.