554 Million Data Records Stolen in H1 2016

Stolen data continues to find its way into the hands of bad actors and 2016 is shaping up to be even worse than last year, according to a new report. E-commerce merchants, issuers and other stakeholders in the CNP industry are preparing for more fraud attempts fueled by a first half of 2016 that saw 15 percent more data breaches and 31 percent more records exposed in those data breaches than in the last six months of 2015. More than half a billion data records were compromised in the first half of this year in 974 publicly disclosed breaches worldwide, according to the Gemalto Breach Level Index H1 2016 Report.

For retailers, the report provided a bit of good news. Eleven percent of data breaches originated with merchants in the first half of this year, a 6 percent decrease from H2 2015. And, retail breaches accounted for only 3 percent of compromised records during the period. Healthcare companies led the list of most-breached industries, highlighting the fact that personally identifiable information has become more prized than payment card information. With account takeover fraud on the rise, however, e-commerce merchants that let consumers establish an account and keep a card on file are vulnerable.

“Over the past twelve months hackers have continued to go after both low hanging fruit and unprotected sensitive personal data that can be used to steal identities,” said Jason Hart, vice president and CTO for Data Protection at Gemalto. “The theft of user names and account affiliation may be irritating for consumers, but the failure of organizations to protect sensitive personal information and identities is a growing problem that will have implications for consumer confidence in the digital services and companies they entrust with their personal data.”