2018: The Year of the Data Breach

2018 marks a high water point for data breaches and leaks as large corporations and government agencies fail to adequately protect and safeguard the personal and financial information of billions of people worldwide. Below, the Global Data Crisis by the numbers.

2018 data breaches

In 2018 alone, over 2.6 billion records were stolen or exposed in more than 1,100 data breaches around the world. Hacks and leaks expose names, passwords, email addresses, dates of birth, employers, spouses, addresses, medical records, purchase histories, and social security, passport, and credit card numbers — highly sensitive and confidential information that gives thieves the keys to your identity.

massive data breaches

Data breaches and privacy scandals came in rapid-fire succession in 2018, starting with critical vulnerabilities in India’s Aadhaar biometric identity system and ending with startling new revelations about Facebook’s data practices.

January 4: Aadhaar, 1.1 Billion Identities Compromised

March 17: Cambridge Analytica, 86 Million Records Exposed

March 29: Under Armour, 150 Million Records Stolen

June 27: Exactis, 340 Million Records Leaked

September 28: Facebook, 30 Million Accounts Compromised

October 10: Apollo, 212 Million Records Exposed

November 26: USPS, 60 Million Accounts Exposed

November 30: Marriott, 500 Million Records Stolen

December 3: Quora, 100 Million Accounts Compromised

December 10: Google, 52.5 Million Accounts Exposed

identity theft types

Credit card fraud was the most common type of identity theft in 2017, accounting for 30% of identity theft reports to the FTC. Existing account card fraud was up by 20% from 2016. As for other types of identity theft reported, credit card fraud was followed closely by tax fraud at 18%, phone or utilities fraud at 13%, bank fraud at 11%, loan or lease fraud at 7%, government documents or benefits fraud at 6%, and other types of identity theft accounting for the remaining 15%.

data breach industries

According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, businesses accounted for 50% of data breaches in 2018, with 524 as of December 5th, along with 334 breaches in the healthcare industry (29%), 122 in banking and finance (11%), 90 in government (8%), and 68 in education (6%).

data breach statistics

As of December 5th there have been 1,138 data breaches in 2018, exposing over 2.6 billion records. There is no doubt that this figure fails to capture the true extent of the problem, with small-scale exposures getting lost in the deluge of reports and many companies failing to disclose breaches until years later.

As breaches have swiftly expanded in their size, scope, and frequency, there has come a rapid rise in fraud and identity theft, with millions of new victims every year. Victims of identity theft must deal with the destructive nature of data breaches firsthand, whether their credit has been demolished by card fraud, bank accounts emptied, or lives upturned by all kinds of other nefarious activity.

In 2017 alone, there were over 16.7 million victims of identity fraud, leading to $16.8 billion in financial damages. Identity theft, driven by non-card fraud and account takeover, affected 6.6 percent of consumers in 2017. Account takeovers caused $5.1 billion in financial losses, up 120% from 2016, and cost victims on average $260. Since 2012, 1 in 3 Americans have been victims of identity theft.

identity theft heat map

2018 brought with it watershed moments that mark a growing awareness and concern in the collective consciousness about how our data is collected and used. As data breaches have risen and issues around data have multiplied, we have seen a newfound sense of urgency for more robust privacy and security measures to protect the data of consumers.

According to SAS, 73% of consumers have growing concerns about data privacy. As a result, 77% have changed their privacy settings, 65% have declined terms of service, and 64% want the right to have their data deleted. As for industries that consumers trust, only 46% trust financial institutions with their data, 29% trust government agencies, and 14% trust social media companies.

Consumers, who are growing increasingly wary of breaches and theft, have begun looking for ways to take back control of their data. Moving forward, companies must find ways to put the consumer first, protect the right to privacy, and foster the adoption of new data sharing models.

Moving into 2019, the global data crisis will only intensify. Centralized databases will continue to leak data on billions, while hackers will grow increasingly brazen in their attacks. Vast treasure troves of centralized data present highly rewarding targets for hackers. It’s a matter of when, not if, they’ll be hacked.

bloom secure identity

At Bloom, we are giving you the tools to take back control of your data.

Bloom enables you to own, authorize the use of, and protect your data using the latest advancements in blockchain technology. With Bloom, the risk of your data being exposed in a data breach or leak is greatly reduced. No more centralized data storage. No more selling off your data to the highest bidder. No more risking identity theft. Your identity, and your highly sensitive personal and financial information, is securely safeguarded on your own personal device using cutting-edge cryptography.

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2018: The Year of the Data Breach
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