Imperva research shows an increase in the volume of data stolen every year. In 2020, we started to see more and more breaches that exfiltrate records in billions. Based on the analysis of thousands of data breach details published on dbdigest, we made calculations on the raw data and found some interesting information about data breaches.
Get a free copy of the full report, Lessons Learned from Analyzing 100 Data Breaches, here.
Figure 1: Data breaches, records compromised, and average record compromised per data breach per year.
- In January 2021 alone we saw more than 870 million records compromised. This is more than the total compromised records for the entire year in 2017.
- We see a constant increase in the number of data breaches of more than 30% each year.
- Another interesting piece of data is the number of records compromised each year, again constantly increasing, by an average of 224%.
- Based on this trend we can estimate that year-over-year we will see around 3 times more records stolen annually.
When we put this data from the chart above into the below graphs, we can see a strong correlation between the three data points. The data breaches count is represented by the red line, the count of the total number of records compromised is represented by the yellow line and the average number of records compromised is represented by the blue line.
Figure 2: Line graphs showing the number of data breaches per year, the count of the total number of records compromised per year and the average number of records compromised per breach per year from 2017-2020.
We predict that for 2021, there will be around 1,500 data breach incidents with a total of 40 billion compromised records, and an average of 26 million compromised records per breach.
The constant increase in data breaches is a result of multiple factors. We are living in a digitalization era in which more services are consumed daily, with the majority of them online. More businesses are migrating to the cloud which, if not done more carefully, makes them more vulnerable. The increase in the amount of stolen data is the result of similar factors. The amount of data that is out there is enormous, and it is increasing every year.
Information security adoption is slower than the adoption of digital services that make a profit from the addiction to and consumption of the same online services. The increasing number of breaches every year is a result of this gap.
2020 was a year with a big impact on digitalization, with many sectors making a very quick shift into digitalization to make themselves available through the COVID pandemic. Such a fast, dramatic change is likely to have security implications.
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