Data breaches in 2021 already exceed last year’s totals, analysis finds
STATEN ISLAND, NY – The number of data breaches in the third quarter of this year in the United States has already exceeded totals for all of 2020, according to an analysis released Wednesday.
Nonprofit Identity Theft Resource Center presented its findings to the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation on Wednesday and said this year’s trajectory is set to break the record for most of known violations.
The number of data breaches made public through the end of September topped the 2020 total by 17%, the analysis showed, even with a decline in compromises in recent months compared to the second quarter of 2019. This year.
“While the total number of data breaches declined slightly in the third quarter, we are only 238 data breaches to match the all-time record for data breaches in a single year,” said Eva Velasquez, President and CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center.
According to data from the Identity Theft Resource Center, there were 1,108 violations in 2020 affecting more than 310 million victims, while 1,291 violations as of September 30, 2021 affected approximately 281 million people.
The record number of violations occurred in 2017, when 1,529 incidents were recorded.
A data breach involves someone accessing otherwise confidential or protected information without authorization, including names, addresses, a credit card, or even Social Security number information.
By far, the nonprofit has said phishing and ransomware are the main causes of the breaches. However, cyber attacks have also increased by 27% since the start of the year compared to 2020 as a whole, according to the latest report.
Phishing scams have targeted New Yorkers in recent months, and residents of Staten Island have sadly fallen victim to various lucrative scams that have grossed over $ 1 million in just one year.
“Everyone must continue to practice good cyber hygiene to protect themselves and their loved ones as these crimes continue to increase,” Velasquez added.
A key element of the report, said the Identity Theft Resource Center, was that some organizations and state agencies currently do not include specific details about data breaches or report them in a timely manner, calling this model ” worrying trend “.
One state, the group said, has not issued a data breach notice for more than a year.
“There has been an increase in the lack of transparency in notices of violation both at the organizational and government level which, if it persists, could have a significant impact on individuals,” the report said. “Withholding important information or failing to post notices in a timely manner can prevent individuals from taking action to protect their identity. “
Officials urge people to be vigilant of red flags that can be telltale signs of scams, including slightly misspelled emails and poorly written text.
In addition, online passwords must be protected by password managers that securely store sensitive information giving access to personal accounts.
District law enforcement officials said people of all ages had fallen victim to scams.
“Check everything and don’t trust anyone,” Deputy Inspector Timothy Wilson, 122nd District Commander, had previously warned. “Don’t send money to someone you don’t know. They attack you.