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Large-scale data breaches are in decline but hacking remains a threat - Flashpoint

During H1 2022, there have been just three reported incidents that have impacted 100 million or more records

The number of large-scale data breaches is in decline, the latest data from Flashpoint has revealed, despite hacking continuing to represent a significant threat to organisations.

According to the cyber security firm’s State of Data Breach Intelligence: 2022 Midyear Edition, the number of breaches affecting 100 million or more records fell during the first half of this year. There were just three incidents reported during H1 2022, compared with 13 during the same period of 2021.

As a result, the number of records exposed dropped dramatically over the first six months of 2022, falling from 27.3 billion to 1.4 billion records, Flashpoint’s analysis found.

Overall, there were 1,980 data breaches reported in that period, equating to an almost 15% year-on-year decline.

However, Flashpoint also noted that this apparent drop in incidents is also affected by the rate at which they are reported – stating it expects the total to eventually catch up with 2021’s numbers.

“There are multiple reasons for the drop of data breaches, but the main contributor is the continued slowness of breach disclosures,” explained Inga Goddijn, Flashpoint’s VP of structured intelligence.

“The good news is that reporting cadences are beginning to return to normal. As reporting catches up, we anticipate the number of breaches will actually match or exceed 2021.”

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In terms of how these breaches are occurring, Flashpoint found that methods have remained largely the same as in previous years, with hacking or unauthorized access to systems accounting for approximately 60% of breaches during the first half of the year. Other causes included viruses and fraud, while the origins of 11% of incidents could not be determined.

As for where these occurred, the combined Healthcare and Social Service economic sector registered the highest number of breaches. 

On a business group level, both Financial Services and Software/Data Services racked up more breaches than hospitals, which is the leading reporter of breaches within the Healthcare sector, Flashpoint found.

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