Data Breaches Up Nearly 45 percent according to Annual Review by Identity Theft Resource Center® and CyberScout®

Date: 01/22/2018

SAN DIEGO, January 25, 2018 – Today, the Identity Theft Resource Center®, a nationally recognized non-profit organization established to support victims of identity theft, and CyberScout®, released the 2017 Annual Data Breach Year-End Review. According to the review, the number of U.S. data breaches tracked in 2017 hit a new all-time high of 1,579, up 44.7 percent over last year’s record totals of 1,091 breaches.

“We’ve seen the number of identified breaches increase as a result of industries moving toward more transparency,” said Eva Velasquez, president and CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center. “We want to encourage businesses and government entities to continue to provide timely reports to their respective Attorney Generals so consumers can be better informed on what are the immediate and long-term impacts to their personal information by any given data breach.”

The review shows that the business sector again topped the list with 870 reported incidents, representing more than half of the overall total number of breaches, followed by the medical/healthcare sector with 374 breaches (23.7 percent of total breaches) and the banking/credit/financial sector with 134 breaches (8.5 percent of the overall total). Hacking continued to rank first in the “type of incidents” according to the review, with 59.5 percent of the breaches being identified in this category. Phishing and ransomware/malware were indicated as being the top two methods of hacking related data breaches.

“Year after year we continue to use the Annual Data Breach Year-End Review as a tool to further glean trends about the state of data breaches, or to confirm what we already know about them,” said Matt Cullina, CEO of CyberScout. “With the business sector being strongly impacted, now more than ever it’s important for organizations of all sizes to not only be prepared for a data breach, but to also be taking proactive steps to plan for the inevitability.”

Additional findings include:

  • The number of credit card numbers exposed in 2017 totaled 14,207,346, which was up 88 percent since 2016
  • More than eight times the number of Social Security numbers were exposed in 2017 than in 2016
  • The medical/healthcare sector, educational sector and government/military sectors all reflected decreases in the percentage of data breaches from 2016 figures
  • The business sector was hit the hardest by hacking, with nearly 40 percent of the breached entities identifying this type of attack as the cause for the breach

About the Identity Theft Resource Center

Founded in 1999, the Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC) is a nationally recognized non-profit organization established to support victims of identity theft in resolving their cases, and to broaden public education and awareness in the understanding of identity theft, data breaches, cybersecurity, scams/fraud, and privacy issues. Through public and private support, the ITRC provides no-cost victim assistance and consumer education through its call center, website, social media channels, live chat feature and ID Theft Help app. For more information, visit:

About CyberScout

As the industry leader for over 13 years, CyberScout® has been setting the gold standard for identity and data defense services – from proactive protection and education to successful resolution. Formerly IDT911, CyberScout uses proven technology solutions, boots-on-the-ground experience and high-touch personal service to help commercial clients and individuals minimize risk and maximize recovery.


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