Over one billion records were compromised last year as data breaches became a regular occurrence, especially in the UK
The latest Breach Level Index from Gemalto's SafeNet revealed that the number of compromised data records increased by a staggering 78 percent to just over one billion in 2014, with data breaches also on the up, rising 49 percent year-on-year to 1,541 incidents.
The report is particularly bad reading for UK businesses and their IT security departments, as it concluded that the country was the worst in Europe, and the second worst in the world, when it came to the sheer number of breaches last year.
Citing high-profile examples such as Mumsnet, Moonpig and Axa Healthcare, Gemalto revealed that there were 117 breaches in the UK last year, compared to just 9 in France and 8 in Germany. To put this figure in context, there were 190 breaches in Europe as a whole, meaning the UK's portion accounted for over 60 percent.
This figure put the country – whose Prime Minister David Cameron has been pushing for an end to encryption – second in the world, behind only the United States with 1,164 breaches in the last year. The US accounted for every three in four breaches (76 percent).
Interestingly, while ‘malicious outsiders' were cited for over half of data loss incidents, a quarter were down to accidental loss, which significantly eclipsed the much-talked-about malicious insider (15 percent) and state-sponsored actors (4 percent). Hactivists were to blame for an even smaller portion than that.