The number of data records lost, stolen or exposed increased by 88% last year to more than 2.6 billion worldwide, according to the Gemalto Breach Level Index. Since 2013 nearly 10 billion records have been affected at a rate of 58 records every second.
Last year, 86% of the 1,765 data breach incidents reported occurred in North America. Gemalto says the figure is so high because US organisations have had to reveal breaches for a number of years. It expects figures for European organisations to rise as a result of GDPR, which mandates data breach reporting.
Last year, the UK had the second highest number of incidents after the US, with 33,124,246 compromised records (down from 54,468,603 in 2016). One breach alone, at the NHS, accounted for two thirds (26,000,000) of data records compromised.
Half of data incidents in the UK involved a malicious outsider (48%) and over one third (39%) were the result of accidental damage, such as improper disposal of records and misconfigured databases. Even so, accidental loss accounted for 88% of all compromised records.