Every day, 4 million data records get lost or stolen

Data security breaches are far more common than many may think. In 2016, 1.4 billion data records were stolen by hackers, which is almost two times more than the year before. Given these numbers, it goes without saying that our sensitive data is more endangered than ever.

The following types of data were targeted throughout 2016:

– Passwords

– Email addresses

– IP addresses

– Biometric data

– Names

– Birth dates

Gemalto’s Breach Level Index Report for 2016 indicates that the leading cause for these breaches are hackers and cyber-attacks, being responsible for two thirds of the data security breaches. For 19% of the incidents that occurred, the reason lies in accidental loss of data. Another 9% of the incidents were caused by malicious insiders, which, despite being the bottom-ranked cause, is still an alarming statistic.

As for the reasons behind the attacks, identity theft ranks at number one. Cyber criminals often make a profit out of it by selling it on underground forums. Sometimes, this type of stolen data can be used to commit fraud or gain access to the victim’s other personal accounts.

According to Jason Halt, vice president at Gemalto, the attackers previously targeted financial institutions, but nowadays, they are shifting their focus on large databases, such as entertainment and social media sites.

The report also made a prediction that IoT will make the scope of data security breaches worse. In order to do your best to remain prepared, the report suggests using encryption to safely store all sensitive data.