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The number of vulnerable internet-facing databases increased worldwide in the past year. This is concluded by Group-IB in a recent study.

According to Group-IB, the number of exposed databases increased considerably in the second half of 2021. The segment grew by 16 percent to 165,600 worldwide. Throughout 2021, Group-IB found 308,000 units. A peak was recorded in the first quarter of 2022, with a total of 91,200 databases.


According to the researchers, the pandemic was among the main causes. Remote working prompted organizations to link their databases to the internet in order to provide access to employees. Often, changes were made hastily. As a result, policies were misconfigured.

Group-IB emphasizes that not all internet-facing databases end up affected by malware. Internet-facing databases are, however, more likely to be vulnerable. The United States leads in the number of exposed databases, followed by China and Germany.


Furthermore, the researchers found that exposed databases cost companies $1.2 billion (roughly €1.1 billion) in GDPR fines. Furthermore, in the first quarter of 2021, it took companies an average of 170 days to resolve issues concerning exposed databases. Although the average went down over the course of 2021, the level returned in the first quarter of 2022.

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