Gemalto released the findings of the 2016 Breach Level Index (BLI) revealing that Middle East data breaches are up 16.67% compared to 2015. Additionally, 45.2 million data records were compromised compared to 38.5 million in 2015, across the Middle East region.
Worldwide, 1,792 data breaches led to almost 1.4 billion data records compromised worldwide during 2016, an increase of 86% compared to 2015. Identity theft was the leading type of data breach in 2016, accounting for 59% of all data breaches. In addition, 52% percent of the data breaches in 2016 did not disclose the number of compromised records at the time they were reported.
The Breach Level Index is a global database that tracks data breaches and measures their severity based on multiple dimensions, including the number of records compromised, the type of data, the source of the breach, how the data was used, and if the data was encrypted.
“The Breach Level Index highlights four major cybercriminal trends over the past year. Hackers are casting a wider net and are using easily-attainable account and identity information as a starting point for high value targets. Clearly, fraudsters are also shifting from attacks targeted at financial organisations to infiltrating large data bases such as entertainment and social media sites. Lastly, fraudsters have been using encryption to make breached data unreadable, then hold it for ransom and decrypting once they are paid, said Sebastien Pavie, Regional Director, MEA, Identity and Data Protection, Gemalto.