Over 422 million people were victims of data breaches during 2022, according to a report released by the Identity Theft Research Center (ITRC). While the total was just shy of matching 2021’s record numbers, victims were affected much worse.
“While we did not set a record for the number of data compromises in the U.S. last year, we came close,” ITRC President Ela Velasques said. “These compromises impacted at least 422 million people. These numbers are only estimates because data breach notices are increasingly issued with less information.”
According to the ITRC’s annual data breach report, compromises have only been accelerating in frequency.
“The first half of 2022 saw fewer compromises reported due in part to Russia-based cybercriminals distracted by the war in Ukraine and volatility in the cryptocurrency markets,” the ITRC said. “However, the number of data compromises steadily increased in the second half of 2022.”
The report also illustrates that 66% of data breach notices didn’t have victim and attack details and goes on to explain that “the number of breach notices with detailed attack and victim information has dropped by more than 50 percent (50%) since 2019.”
The report goes on to conclude that “The result of these trends is less reliable data that impairs the ability of individuals, businesses, and government officials to make informed decisions about the risk of a data compromise and the actions to take in the aftermath of one.”
The data being compromised is also very serious. While the most common piece of data stolen is your name — over 1,150 companies had breaches that resulted in hackers obtaining users’ social security numbers.
While the largest data breaches of the year included Twitter, Neopets, and AT&T Data — 19% of data breaches targeted healthcare organizations like Advocate Aurora Health, preying on cybersecurity vulnerabilities to target the sick or injured.