• Saturday, June 15, 2024
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Data breaches increased by 49% in 2014

A vital message to stakeholders on the filing of data privacy Compliance Audit Returns (CAR)

Gemalto, the digital security organisation, says there were over 1,500 data breaches, and this led to the compromise of one billion data records worldwide in 2014. This indicates a 49 percent increase in data breaches and a 78 percent increase in stolen/lost data records compared to 2013, according to the company’s Breach Level Index (BLI). This latest development is however worrying considering that Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, is aggressively pushing for wider national broadband internet coverage, even amidst government’s failure to expedite action on the final passage of the Cybercrime Bill. Interestingly, major sectors of the economy, including telecomms, oil and gas, banking, are being exposed to the exploits of hackers prowling the digital landscape, with no form of restriction. Regulation, cost management and rising customer expectations for better service delivery, are compelling banks, telcos, as well as oil and gas firms to migrate services and critical data online.

Read also: InfraCo licences boost broadband outlook amid political uncertainty

This announcement was made in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Breach Level Index BLI, takes record of risks by providing a centralised, global database of data breaches and calculates their severity based on multiple dimension (type of data, numbers of records stolen, the source of the breach, if/if not the data was encrypted). According to data in the BLI originally developed by SafeNet, the main motivation for cybercriminals in 2014 was identity theft with 54 percent of the all data breaches being identity theft-based, more than any breach category including access to financial data. In addition, identity theft breaches also accounted for one-third of the most severe data breaches categorized by the BLI as either Catastrophic (with a BLI score of between 9.0 and 10) or Severe (7.0 to 8.9).

Secure breaches, which involved breaches of perimeter security where compromised data was encrypted in full or in part, increased to 4 percent from 1 percent. “We’re clearly seeing a shift in the tactics of cybercriminals, with long-term identity theft becoming more of a goal than the immediacy of stealing a credit card number,” said Tsion Gonen, vice president of strategy for Identity and Data Protection at Gemalto. “Identity theft could lead to the opening of new fraudulent credit accounts, creating false identities for criminal enterprises, or a host of other serious crimes. As data breaches become more personal, we’re starting to see that the universe of risk exposure for the average person is expanding.” With the acquisition of SafeNet, Gemalto offers a complete portfolios of enterprise security solutions – industry protection of digital identities, transactions, payment and data.

Ben Uzor