Gemalto discloses findings of 2015 Breach Level Index

By CIOReview | Tuesday, March 8, 2016

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS: Gemalto (Euronext NL0000400653 GTO), a provider of digital security software, devices and services to many of the world's best known businesses and governments, earlier released the latest findings of the Breach Level Index, revealing that 1,673 data breaches had occurred wherein 707 million data records were compromised worldwide during 2015.

The Breach Level Index (BLI) is a global database that not only tracks publicly disclosed breaches, but also allows organizations to do their own risk assessment based on a few simple inputs that will calculate their risk score, overall breach severity level, and summarize actions IT can take to reduce the risk score. By assigning a severity score to each breach, the Breach Level Index provides a comparative list of breaches, distinguishing nuisances from truly impactful mega breaches.

The Breach Level Index indicates more than 3.6 billion data records that have been exposed since 2013 when the index began benchmarking publicly disclosed data breaches. In 2015, malicious outsiders were the leading source of these breaches, accounting for 964, or 58 percent of breaches and 38 percent of compromised records, while identity theft remained the primary type of breach, accounting for 53 percent of data breaches and 40 percent of all compromised records.

Considering the geographic regions, 77 percent of all data breach incidents occurred in North America, with 59 percent of all compromised records happening in the United States. Europe accounted for 12percent of overall breach incidents, followed by the Asia Pacific region at 8 percent.

"In 2014, consumers may have been concerned about having their credit card numbers stolen, but there are built-in protections to limit the financial risks," said Jason Hart, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Data Protection at Gemalto. "However, in 2015 criminals shifted to attacks on personal information and identity theft, which are much harder to remediate once they are stolen. As companies and devices collect ever-increasing amounts of customer information and as consumers' online digital activities become more diverse and prolific, more data about what they do, who they are and what they like is at risk to be stolen from the companies that store their data. If consumers' entire personal data and identities are being co-opted again and again by cyber thieves, trust will increasingly become the centerpiece in the calculus of which companies they do business with."