Over 2,200 Data Breaches Disclosed So Far In 2017, Exposing Over Six Billion Records

The pace of data breach disclosures remains steady compared to the prior two years while the number of records exposed jumps to a record high.

RICHMOND, VA, July 25, 2017 — Risk Based Security today announced the release of its Mid-Year 2017 Data Breach QuickView report, showing there have been 2,227 publicly disclosed data compromise events through June 30th. While this is in keeping with the number of breaches disclosed mid-way through 2015 and 2016, the total number of records exposed topped six billion, surpassing 2016s’ year-end high mark for the number of records compromised.

“It is stunning to see the steady increase in the number of breaches impacting one million or more records. In the first six months of 2013, 2014 and 2015, the number of these large breaches hovered in the mid teens. Last year we saw that number jump to 28, and now, for the first six months of this year, we’re tracking 50 such incidents”, said Inga Goddijn, Executive Vice President for Risk Based Security. “Even more striking, in Q1 we had a new single largest breach disclosed, only to replaced by yet another all-time largest breach in Q2.”

Another trend that has accelerated in 2017 is the targeting of tax data. The first six months of 2016 saw over 160 phishing incidents compromising W-2 data. This year the number of confirmed successful attacks increased by 25%, with more incidents still coming to light. In addition to scamming HR professionals, organizations that aggregate such data were also targeted. A number of accounting firms and payroll service providers were breached, as was America’s Job Link Alliance, a workforce development specialist serving various state employment agencies across the United States. Vulnerable code in their service platform was exploited, resulting in the compromise of approximately 5.5 million job seekers’ names, addresses, dates of birth and Social Security numbers.

As with prior reports, the number of incidents attributed to hacking remains high, accounting for 41% of disclosed breaches. With the number of vulnerabilities reported this year on pace to exceed 2016 and over 4,000 of those vulnerabilities going uncovered by the CVE and National Vulnerability Database (NVD), it is tempting to attribute the high percentage of breaches from hacking to inferior or incomplete vulnerability intelligence. Ms Goddijn remarked, “There are a lot of moving parts to an effective patch management program, but no matter how strong that process might be, it can be undermined when known vulnerabilities are missed simply because the organization was not aware to look for them”.

Ms Goddijn concluded, “While news of politically motivated foreign interference in election systems continues to dominate the headlines, the breach activity we are tracking this year is a stark reminder of just how many data compromise incidents are motivated by financial gain. As long as information can be quickly monetized and systems remain vulnerable to attack, we should not expect to see any slowdown in breach activity”.

About the DataBreach QuickView Report

The DataBreach QuickView report is possible through the research conducted by Risk Based Security. It is designed to provide an executive level summary of the key findings from RBS’ analysis of breach activity disclosed in 2017. Contact Risk Based Security for any specific analysis of the 2017 data breaches of specific interest to your organization.

You can get your copy of the 2017 Mid-Year DataBreach QuickView Report here:


About Risk Based Security

Risk Based Security (RBS) provides detailed information and analysis on Data Breaches, Vendor Risk Ratings and Vulnerability Intelligence. Our products, Cyber Risk Analytics (CRA) and VulnDB, provide organizations access to the most comprehensive threat intelligence knowledge bases available, including advanced search capabilities, access to raw data via API, and email alerting to assist organizations in taking the right actions in a timely manner. In addition, our YourCISO offering provides organizations with on-demand access to high quality security and information risk management resources in one, easy to use web portal.

VulnDB is the most comprehensive and timely vulnerability intelligence available and provides actionable information about the latest in security vulnerabilities via an easy-to-use SaaS Portal, or a RESTful API for easy integration into GRC tools and ticketing systems. VulnDB allows organizations to search on and be alerted to the latest vulnerabilities, both in end-user software and the third-party libraries or dependencies that help build applications. A subscription to VulnDB provides organizations with simple to understand ratings and metrics on their vendors and products, and how each contributes to the organization’s risk-profile and cost of ownership.

Cyber Risk Analytics (CRA) provides actionable threat intelligence about organizations that have had a data breach or leaked credentials. This enables organizations to reduce exposure to the threats most likely to impact them and their vendor base. In addition, our PreBreach vendor risk rating, the result of a deep-view into the metrics driving cyber exposures, are used to better understand the digital hygiene of an organization and the likelihood of a future data breach. The integration of PreBreach ratings into security processes, vendor management programs, cyber insurance processes and risk management tools allows organizations to avoid costly risk assessments, while enabling businesses to understand its risk posture, act quickly and appropriately to proactively protect its most critical information assets.

YourCISO provides organizations with on-demand access to high quality security and information risk management resources in one, easy to use web portal.  YourCISO provides organization ready access to a senior executives and highly skilled technical security experts with a proven track record, matched specifically to your needs. The YourCISO service is designed to be an affordable long term solution for addressing information security risks.  YourCISO brings together all the elements an organization needs to develop, document and manage a comprehensive information security program.

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