More than 200 million records were lost in digital breaches during the first three months of 2014, according to a new report that parses publicly available information on data breaches. The records were lost in connection with at least 254 publicized breaches, according to SafeNet, a data security company that published the report.
Those numbers represent a 233% increase from the same time period in 2013. Still, they provide only a partial look at the extent of the issue, since many breaches are never publicly disclosed. Even if they are disclosed, 46% of breaches did not report how many records were lost, SafeNet found.
The most likely cause for a breach was a malicious insider, accounting for 52% of all records breached, the survey found. Coming in second: malicious outsiders, who accounted for 43% of records breached. All other causes combined accounted for fewer than 5% of records breached, SafeNet said.
The financial industry suffered the worst breaches, accounting for 55% of the records lost worldwide, while the healthcare industry had the highest number of breaches, according to the report.
Although North America had the highest number of disclosed breaches, representing 74% of reported breaches worldwide (which is unsurprising, given that the U.S. has one of the most advanced systems requiring disclosure of data breaches), it accounted for only a small fraction of the total records lost. South Korea experienced four of the top five breaches, with a loss of 158 million records that amounted to 86% of all records breached, SafeNet found.
The vast majority of organizations that suffered breaches did not secure their data using strong encryption, the report found. Of the 254 breaches, only 1% involved records with strong encryption, key management and/or authentication solutions that rendered the data useless.