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Data Compromises have increased in the First Half of 2021: ITRC Report

“If this trend continues, 2021 could end with a record-setting number of compromises,” the report states

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Several reports last week indicated that about 38 million records of private personal information have been exposed encompassing both major US corporations and government agencies. The leak happened due to a default configuration setting in the Microsoft Power Apps as apps and websites created with the above software list all data types as public unless the default settings are changed. The data leak exposed several coronavirus tracing and vaccination portals as well as at least one job applicant database that contained Social Security numbers, according to CPO Magazine.

Data compromises showing an upward trend

This leak comes at a time when a recent report by the Identity Theft Resource Center showed that the number of data compromises have gone up in the first half of 2021. According to the report, the total number of publicly reported data compromises accelerated in the second quarter, ending June 30, 2021, at 491 which is a 38 percent increase over the first quarter. However, the report also states that the number of individuals impacted has come down by 20 percent from the first quarter.

Phishing and Ransomware among the most used methods

Phishing and Ransomware have been identified as the top two root causes of data compromises for the second quarter and the first half of 2021. The report states, “The surge in phishing, ransomware and supply chain attacks is driving a pace of data compromises that will likely result in a new record for total data breaches, data exposures and data leaks by the end of 2021.”

Breaches up in the Manufacturing and Professional Services Sector

The report has also done a sectoral analysis where the maximum number of breaches have been witnessed. Manufacturing & Utilities and Professional Services have seen significant increases, while Healthcare and Retail are seeing data compromises drop. According to the report, “This dynamic reflects the broader trend of cybercriminals shifting their attacks to critical infrastructure and targets considered to be not as well defended in hopes of securing larger ransomware payments.”  

The key takeaway from the report is that if this trend continues, 2021 could end with a record-setting number of compromises, exceeding the current high-water mark of 1632 set in 2017 and the lowest number of people impacted by data compromises since 2014.

A data security breach constitutes unauthorised acquisition, access, use, disclosure of data that compromises the security or privacy of an individual or organisation. In recent times, there have been instances of data leaks in India as well, the most recent one being in May 2021 when personal data of Domino’s India was leaked. This leak exposed mobile numbers and email IDs of individuals with their addresses and geo coordinates.

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data breach cybersecurity