“Today, the Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC), a nationally recognized nonprofit organization established to support victims of identity crime, will release its 16th Annual Data Breach Report, supported by Sontiq, a TransUnion company, at the Identity, Authentication, and the Road Ahead Policy Forum hosted by the Better Identity Coalition (BIC), FIDO Alliance and the ITRC. According to the 2021 Annual Data Breach Report, the overall number of data compromises (1,862) is up more than 68 percent compared to 2020. The new record number of data compromises is 23 percent over the previous all-time high (1,506) set in 2017. The number of data events that involved sensitive information (Ex: Social Security numbers) increased slightly compared to 2020 (83 percent vs. 80 percent). However, it remained well below the previous high of 95 percent set in 2017. The number of victims continues to decrease (down five (5) percent in 2021 compared to the previous year) as identity criminals focus more on specific data types rather than mass data acquisition. However, the number of consumers whose data was compromised multiple times per year remains alarmingly high. Other findings in the 2021 Annual Data Breach Report include:
- Ransomware-related data breaches have doubled in each of the past two years. At the current rate, ransomware attacks will surpass phishing as the number one root cause of data compromises in 2022.
- There were more cyberattack-related data compromises (1,603) in 2021 than all data compromises in 2020 (1,108).
- Compromises increased year-over-year (YoY) in every primary sector but one – Military – where there were no data breaches publicly disclosed. The Manufacturing & Utilities sector saw the largest percentage increase in data compromises at 217 percent over 2020.
- The number of data breach notices that do not reveal the root cause of a compromise (607) has grown by more than 190 percent since 2020.”