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Worldwide, 4.5 billion records were affected by 945 data breaches in the first half of 2018. This is shown by the new Breach Level Index of security company Gemalto. The number of lost, stolen or degraded records increased by 133 percent compared to the same period in 2017. The number of total infringements decreased slightly.

In the first half of this year there were six social media leaks, including the incident with Cambridge Analytica and Facebook. According to Gemalto, these leaks account for more than 56 percent of the total affected records. 189 of the 945 data breaches had an unknown or unverified number of affected data documents.

Every day in the first six months of the year over 25 million records were affected or unmasked. Such information may include medical, credit card and financial data or personally identifiable information. One percent of the stolen, lost or compromised records were protected by encryption. That is a decrease of 1.5% compared to the same period in 2017.

The number of incidents increased in most sectors compared to the last six months of 2017. The government, professional services, retail and technology sectors were the exception. However, more records were breached in the public sector and in the retail sector. The government also had one data breach that affected 800 records.

“It is striking that the number of data leaks has decreased, but the number of affected records is increasing. This indicates that crimes are becoming increasingly serious and we cannot be certain about them,” says Dirk Geeraerts, identity and data protection expert at Gemalto. “Due to the large rise of social media data leaks, it is important that users are aware of the consequences of this. Social media is this year the top sector, within this sector most of the personal data has been captured. This trend is expected, as more and more sectors are using these platforms to reach their target group.”

“We also expect more data breaches to be reported by countries of the European Union that are bound by the new General Data Protection Ordinance. We must be careful not to interpret this as an increase in overall incidents in these areas, but rather as a more accurate reflection of what is actually going on. ”


According to Gemalto, rogue outsiders are the main cause behind affected records. They caused the highest percentage of data leaks (56 percent), which is a slight decrease of almost 7 percent. They are responsible for over 80 percent of all stolen, degraded or lost records.

Furthermore, unintentional incidents are a common cause of data leaks. These account for more than 879 million (9 percent) of the lost records and represent more than a third of the incidents.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.