February 23, 2018

Hacking Statistics May Surprise You


158 million Social Security numbers were stolen in one year. That was a result of 1,579 data breaches. These occurrences cost companies as much as $225 per record stolen and individuals a lifetime of headaches and financial troubles.

© Torkild Retvedt (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Flickr

Keep reading to learn the shocking statistics of the most recent data breaches.

Stealing Personal Information

  • How many data breach incidents were there in 2017?
    In 2017 alone, there were 1,579 data breaches. This represents a 44% increase over the data from just one year prior.

  • What was the number one reason for data breaches in the US?
    Malicious attacks were the number one cause of data breaches last year. They also topped the charts as the most expensive attacks for companies. Malicious attacks cost a company an average of $156 per record. Other issues, including system glitches, cost companies around $126 per record affected.

  • What is the average cost of a data breach for a business?
    Data breaches involving less than 10,000 records cost an average of $1.9 million. Data breaches involving more than 50,000 records cost an average of $6.3 million.

  • What is the average cost of a data breach per record in the US?
    It costs a business an average of $225 per stolen record during a data breach. Worldwide, the average is $141 per record.

  • What is the main method of attack in the average data breach?
    Hacking occurred in almost 56% of the data breaches in 2017. Hacking includes a variety of methods, namely phishing and ransomware.

Data Breaches by Industry

  • How many data breaches were in the business industry?
    Of the 1,579 data breaches, 870 of them were in the business industry. That represents 55% of the total breaches, which contained 1.6 million records. This is the eighth year in a row that the business industry has had the most breaches.

  • How many data breaches were in the banking industry?
    In 2017, the banking industry experienced 134 data breaches. 3.1 million records were compromised in these breaches.

  • How many data breaches were in the medical industry?
    The medical industry saw a total of 374 data breaches in 2017, with 5 million records being exposed.

The Compromised Information

  • What is a data breach?
    In order to be considered a data breach, criminals must steal a person's name plus one other piece of identifying information. The most common information includes:

    • Social Security number
    • Date of birth
    • Driver's license number
    • Credit card number
    • Medical information

  • How many data breaches involved Social Security numbers?
    A total of 158 million Social Security numbers were exposed last year as a result of a data breach. Of the total 1,579 data breaches, 830 of them involved Social Security numbers.

  • How many data breaches involved credit card numbers?
    In 2017, 20% of the data breaches that occurred involved credit card numbers. This is a 6% increase over the prior year. The actual number of records with stolen credit card information increased 88%.

  • How many healthcare breaches occurred on average?
    In 2017, there was an average of 342 healthcare breaches. The largest healthcare breach of the year compromised 697,800 records.

How Hackers Use Your Information

  • What does the average hacker do with the stolen information?
    The average hacker steals information in bulk and then sells it on the dark web. They generally get more money the more recently the information was collected. Depending on the amount of information they have on one person, a hacker could make anywhere from $1 to $450 with personal information.

  • How fast do hackers use the stolen information?
    A study using fake information set up for hackers by the FTC showed that hackers can use stolen information in as little as 9 minutes after stealing it. In this study, hackers tried using the stolen information more than 1,200 times.

  • Why do hackers go after medical records?
    Medical records contain very sensitive information that criminals can sell on the dark web. Credit card numbers used to hold the top spot for sought-after information for criminals. Today, medical records hold a higher priority because of the vast amount of personal information one file contains.

The Type of Job

  • How many data breaches were inside jobs?
    In 2017, there were at least 8 data breaches involving 85,000 records that were "inside jobs."

  • How common is malware as a security breach?
    Every day there are 250,000 new malicious programs created.

  • What is the average cost of a ransomware attack?
    Companies pay an average of $2,500 to get their files back from the criminal.

Taking Care of Data Breaches

  • How long does it take an organization to notice a data breach on average?
    On average, it takes a company 191 days to notice a data breach. This is 10 days faster than organizations were able to notice the breaches in 2016.

  • How long does it take to contain a data breach on average?
    Once a company notices the breach, it takes them an average of 66 days to contain it. This average is also down from its higher average of 70 days in 2016.

The Bottom Line

Criminals continually find new ways to steal personal information. These breaches cause serious threat to businesses and individuals every day. If you suspect a data breach, act quickly to minimize the resultant damages.

Sources and References:

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