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September 20, 2017

1.9 BILLION records lost to cyberattacks in 2017 so far – beating last year’s total number

Despite soaring numbers of lost and stolen records, the number of data breaches has in fact been reduced in the first half of 2017, representing efforts to improve cybersecurity.

By Tom Ball

In the first half of 2017 the world suffered colossal record losses to data breaches and cyberattacks, far exceeding the total figure for the whole of 2016.

The world has been hit by a volley of crippling cyberattacks in 2017, contributing to 1.9 billion records being either lost or stolen in the first half of the year. In 2016 the total number of lost and stolen records for the entire year stood at 1.37 billion.

Responsible for the tremendous losses were 918 data breaches worldwide, a substantial increase on the 815 in the latter six months of 2016. The UK proved to be the second most hit target after the US, suffering 40 in H1 2017.

These staggering statistics have been revealed by digital security firm Gemalto, also providing a breakdown that shows 10,439,560 records were stolen or lost every day in H1 2017. The number of cyberattacks can also be equated to 121 per second.

While losses are extremely high, Joe Pindar, Director of Product Strategy, CTO at Gemalto recognises that the number of data breaches has in fact been reduced.

Mr Pindar said: “Cyber-attacks are still costing businesses in the UK time, money and investment to defend against and rectify. Despite this, there has been an overall decrease in reported data breaches in the UK in the last six months, signalling the ongoing efforts of businesses to improve their cybersecurity. It’s important to remember that no business ever sets out to suffer a data breach, and that they are ultimately victims of the efforts of malicious attackers.

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Mr Pindar’s highlighting of a reduction in data breaches is encouraging, as it has never been more important for firms to shore up their defences, particularly with GDPR now clearly silhouetted on the horizon.

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“With the UK Government’s newly proposed Data Protection bill aiming to implement GDPR into UK law, it’s time consumers and governments began to recognise the efforts of those businesses going the extra mile to keep their data secure. No matter how compliant a business is, or what measures they have in place, it only takes one mistake to allow a hacker access to vulnerable data,” said Pindar.

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