Infographic: Data breaches grow more personal

The theft of personal information accounted for 53 percent of 2015 data breaches.

By Jeff Herman and Juan Rodriguez

Data breaches took a more personal turn in 2015 as health, personnel, credit and identity records were stolen by cybercriminals. Indeed, Gemalto's 2015 Breach Level Index found 53 percent of all data breaches were of personal information and identities.

By the numbers, there were 1,673 data breaches in 2015, resulting in more than 707.5 million records being compromised worldwide, the Breach Level Index found. Of these, government records accounted for 43 percent of all lost or stolen data, and the health care industry represented 19 percent of all records compromised. The Anthem Insurance identity theft attack resulting in the theft of 78.8 million records was considered the most severe breach on the BLI.

The retail sector accounted for just 6 percent of total data records lost -- a 93 percent drop from 2014. The financial services sector's lost or stolen data records accounted for just 0.1 percent of the total compromised data records -- a 99 percent drop from 2014.

So what's the takeaway? In 2014, consumers were concerned about their credit card numbers being stolen, "but there are built-in protections to limit the financial risks," Jason Hart, vice president and chief technology officer for data protection at Gemalto, says in a news release. "However, in 2015, criminals shifted to attacks on personal information and identity theft, which are much harder to remediate once they are stolen."

See related: 10 things you should know about identity theftmore infographics

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Published: March 2, 2016

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Updated: 10-23-2016

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