The amount of data leaked by global cyberattacks soars by 224% annually

According to a new report released by Imperva, since 2017, the number of leaked data records from cyberattacks around the world has grown by an average of 224% annually since 2017.

This week marks the third anniversary of GDPR, and data security firm Imperva has tallied thousands of cyber-attacks over the past few years to better understand the growing risks facing businesses.

The number of breached records reported in January 2021 alone (878 million) exceeded all of 2017 (826 million).

Ofir Shaty, a security researcher at Imperva, said that over the past four years, this number has increased, along with a 34 percent increase in the number of reported attacks and a 131 percent increase in the average number of compromised records per incident.

“We live in a digital age where more services are consumed every day, most of which are available online. More and more businesses are migrating to the cloud and digital business systems will become more vulnerable if not done carefully The amount of data out there is huge and increasing every year.” He said:

“Information security adoption lags digital service adoption, and this gap contributes to an increasing number of cyberattacks and data breaches each year.”

Imperva predicts:

There will be around 1,500 data breaches in 2021 and over 40 billion records will be compromised.

But not all data leaks are the result of malicious attacks. Misconfiguration of cloud services is also a big contributor to the surge in data leaks. Of the 100 worst data breaches over the past decade, 42% came from Elasticsearch servers, a quarter (25%) came from AWS S3 buckets, and 17% came from MongoDB deployments.

Tools like Shodan and open-source applications like LeakLocker make it easier to find such vulnerabilities, Imperva warns.

“An organization’s security depends on the weakest link in the security chain. Too often, the ‘walls’ protecting databases have holes that attackers can exploit to gain access to sensitive data,” the report concluded.


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