Report: 246 Million Data Records Breached in First Half of 2015

Sept. 10, 2015

Report: 246 Million Data Records Breached in First Half of 2015 Nearly 246 million data records were lost or stolen in 888 data breaches in the first half of 2015, according to new findings from digital security technology provider Gemalto. That adds up to more than 1.3 million records compromised per day and 16 each second around the world, the Dutch company said. Massive state sponsored hacks of Anthem Insurance and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) accounted for a significant chunk of the records lost and ensured that the health care industry and government were the sectors most affected.

​”What we’re continuing to see is a large ROI for hackers with sophisticated attacks that expose massive amounts of data records,” said Jason Hart, vice president and chief technology officer for data protection at Gemalto. “Cyber criminals are still getting away with big and very valuable data sets. For instance, the average healthcare data breach in the first half of 2015 netted more than 450,000 data records, which is an increase of 200 percent compared to the same time last year.”

Retail and higher education remain popular targets as well, according to Gemalto’s Breach Level Index. Just this week, the personal information of 80,000 students at eight campuses of the California State University System was compromised in a hack that again highlighted the risks associated with third-party vendors. Hackers obtained the data records of students who had taken an online course provided by an outside company.

While the number of overall lost or stolen records declined this year compared with the first half of 2014, the number of breaches increased by 10 percent, Gemalto reported. The top 10 breaches, which include Anthem, OPM, the General Directorate of Population and Citizenship Affairs in Turkey and Russian dating site Topface, accounted for more than 80 percent of all records lost.