The total number of records exposed in 2019 increased by 284 percent compared to 2018. In total, there were over 15.1 billion records exposed. 

There were 7,098 breaches reported in 2019, a one percent increase on 2018, though the gap is anticipated to grow throughout Q1 2020 as more 2019 incidents come to light, says the new Risk Based Security report, 2019 Year End Data Breach QuickView Report

Key findings include:

  • Although the number of breaches in 2019 is only one percent  higher compared to 2018, it is anticipated the gap will continue to grow throughout Q1 2020 as more 2019 incidents come to light.
  • Web (inadvertent exposure of data online) compromised 13.5 billion records while hacking exposed 15.1 billion records. All other data types combined exposed approximately 120 million records.
  • Breaches at technology providers pushed the Information sector to the top spot for number of breaches, followed by the Healthcare sector: 88 percent of Information sector data breaches can be attributed to Software Publishers, Data Processing & Hosting services, and Internet Publishing. 
  • Risk Based Security’s Cyber Risk Analytics team analyzed 25 million unhashed passwords from email accounts affected in the Zynga breach. A breakdown of password security shows that less than one percent of passwords followed basic security requirements. 
  • 77 percent of passwords contain at least half of recommended requirements. Of the passwords analyzed, Gmail users tended to have slightly more secure passwords compared to other email domains. Of the passwords analyzed, AOL users tended to have the least secure passwords compared to other email domains.