2016 was marked by the highest number of data breaches in history

hackersWe will remember 2016 for a lot of reasons; a polarizing election, a slew of tragic celebrity deaths. But there’s another serious problem with 2016 – data breaches. According to the National Law Review and findings by the Identity Theft Resource Center and CyberScout, 2016 showed a record high for data breaches in the United States. The number of recorded breaches last year reached 1,093, surpassing 2015 by 40 percent.

While the financial services industry accounted for only 4.8 percent of the total breaches, business, healthcare, education, military, and other government services were hacked significantly more frequently.

According to these findings, for the eighth year in a row, hacking, skimming, and phishing scams were the main factors behind these data breaches – 55.5 percent of all reported incidents. Breaches using email and internet accounted for only 9.2 percent of all the hacks, and employee error was responsible for 8.7 percent. Of all these breaches, 64 percent involved identity and personal data theft.

These findings are concerning, but not altogether too surprising. It makes you wonder what we can do to make our data more secure in the future.