According to the data analyzed by the Atlas VPN team based on the 2020 Year End Data Breach QuickView Report by Risk Based Security, the number of leaked data records worldwide hit a whopping 37 billion in 2020. It is a 140% increase from 15 billion records in 2019.
The healthcare sector suffered the most due to the COVID-19 pandemic
The 82% or over 30 billion of data records were compromised in only five major breach incidents. All of them were a result of misconfigured databases or services. The most commonly exposed type of data were names, leaked in 46% of data breaches last year. Following names are email addresses, which were compromised in 32% of incidents.
In 2020, the healthcare industry faced 484 hacks, which account for 12% of all last year’s breaches. However, the number of breaches affecting the healthcare industry actually dropped by 5% compared to 2019, when 512 hacks took place. The information sector suffered 429 hacks, which made up 11% of data breaches last year. The number of hacks affecting the information industry plummeted by 30% compared to 2019, when 614 data breaches were registered.
60% of breaches were reported within the US
In total, 2,340 or 60% of breaches were reported within the United States. While this may be due to the fact that there is more transparency regarding public data breach reporting in the US, it is also true that with many major global companies residing in the country, it is an attractive target to cybercriminals.
Considering fewer actual data breaches reported, data breaches are growing in severity, with fewer incidents exposing more personal information than ever before.