Data Breaches & Information Leaks Jump 93% in 2020

Data Breaches & Sensitive Information Leaks Jump 93%

The number of data breaches and leaks of sensitive information have managed to jump more than 93% in 2020, signaling the importance of information security measures for companies around the globe. 

The data has been published to celebrate Data Privacy Day, which celebrates the 1981 signing of Convention 108, a significant international treaty that secured the need to protect privacy and data in an evolving world. 

Numbers from Imperva warn that the number of data breaches and leaks of sensitive information that are either sold by hackers or published for free managed to jump by more than 93% last year. 

The cyber security firm says that 883,865 incidents of data breaches and unauthorised transmissions of sensitive information were detected in the first portion of the year, which rose to more than 1.7 million in December. 

Imperva says that the number would be considerably higher if other forms of data theft were taken into account, for example, physical hardware being taken and the contents either sold or published online. 

Chris Waynforth, Assistant Vice President of Imperva’s Northern Europe arm has said that “data security should never be an afterthought – but sadly, it often is, particularly when organisations prioritise speed over security.” 

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“The rush to maintain business continuity in 2020 has accelerated change at such a pace that huge gaps now exist in process and protection around data,” he said, adding that “it’s naive to think that it is only human access to data that leads to compromise.” 

“Over 50% of access requests to databases are coming not from users, but application to application,” Waynforth concluded. 

Imperva says that in the light of potential GDPR fines and increased scrutiny from regulatory watchdogs, organisations should be making this a top priority for management teams, regardless of their industry. 

Authors of the report state that in order to better protect themselves, organisations should take into consideration the discovery and classification of their data, the access controls surrounding their information, as well as monitoring software for that dataset. 

Just a few days ago, we reported that cybersecurity budgets are expected to jump by a staggering 10% in 2021 to a total spend of $60 billion around the globe. 

This marks a $6 billion increase from the $54.7 billion spent on cybersecurity in 2020. 

Data Breaches & Information Leaks Jump 93% in 2020

The firm who published that report, Canalys wrote that “over 12 billion records, containing a range of personal identifiable information were compromised in 2020, while the number of known ransomware attacks increased by nearly 60%.” 

The healthcare, financial services and education sectors were of particular interest to hackers, according to the report. 

Imperva adds that as we move into the future, consumers will be central to an organisation’s prioritising of cyber risks. The company says that in a number of cases, growing public sentiment for cybersecurity may convince some of the lagging management teams. 

According to numbers from Entrust, more than 77% of consumers are “concerned” about the privacy and integrity of their data, while 64% said their concerns had grown significantly in the past 12 months. 

The latter statistic shows that this is a clearly growing trend. 

However, consumers are consistently willing to hand over their information in exchange for convenience, cost-effectiveness or personalisation. 

Data Breaches & Sensitive Information Leaks Jump 93%

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