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January 21, 2021 • RBS

Categories: Data Breaches, Research
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Our newly released 2020 Year End Data Breach QuickView Report, reveals that there were 3,932 publicly reported data breaches in 2020, compromising over 37 billion records.

Compared to 2019, the number of publicly reported breach events decreased by 48%. However, the total number of records compromised increased by 141% and is by far the most records exposed in a single year since RBS reporting began in 2005.

2020 has challenged the security-minded community quite unlike any other, and the number of records exposed highlights how unique the year has been. We do not believe fewer breaches are happening. Disruptions at certain governmental sources, delayed reporting, and declining news coverage have all contributed to fewer breaches coming to light in 2020, but that is only a part of the story. More complex and damaging attacks have also contributed to lengthy and complex investigations.”

Inga Goddijn, Executive Vice President, RBS

The report also explores some of the leading themes of the year including the rise of ransomware coupled with data theft. Looking at the numbers, ransomware attacks have jumped by 100% compared to 2019.

There were few signs that ransomware would explode into a preferred method for monetizing attacks and while the coverage of breach events has picked up once again, the changing tactics means less information about events is being disclosed. It is anyone’s guess where 2021 might take us.

Inga Goddijn, Executive Vice President, RBS

The 2020 Year End Data Breach QuickView Report covers data breaches publicly disclosed between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020.



About the QuickView Report and Cyber Risk Analytics

The quarterly Data Breach QuickView report is a service of Cyber Risk Analytics (CRA), which 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 ratings, 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 their risk posture, and to act quickly and appropriately to proactively protect their most critical information assets.

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