Record Data Compromises in 2023: Identity Theft Resource Center Rings Alarm Bells

Kamso Oguejiofor-Abugu Kamso Oguejiofor-Abugu Writer

In a recent revelation, the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), a nationally acclaimed nonprofit dedicated to supporting identity crime victims, unveiled its findings on the US data breaches for Q3 2023.

Despite a quarter-over-quarter decline of 22% in publicly reported data compromises, down to 733 from 941, the year-to-date figures are alarming. ITRC’s report disclosed a staggering 2,116 data breaches in the first nine months, smashing the previous annual record with a full quarter still to come.

“While setting a record for the number of data breaches is attention-grabbing, unfortunately, it is not surprising,” said Eva Velasquez, President and CEO of the ITRC. “There are a handful of reasons for the rise in data compromises, ranging from the drastic uptick in Zero-Day attacks to a new wave of ransomware attacks as new ransomware groups enter the criminal identity marketplace.”

Cybersecurity researchers have also pointed to the increase in Zero-Day attacks as a cause of the significant rise in data compromises. This assumption is supported by this year’s ITRC statistics where 86 Zero-Day Attacks have been reported as the cause of a data breach compared to 5 in all of 2022.

“Cyberattacks continued to be the most frequently reported root cause of a data breach in Q3, with 614 notices issued,” reads the ITRC report. “More than half of breached entities (386) did not report an attack vector. However, among those that did, phishing attacks were the most frequently reported cause.”

According to the report, Zero-Day Attacks (69) surpassed ransomware (64) and malware attacks (17). The silver lining, if it can be termed so, is the 39% dip in the victim count for the quarter, tallying at 66.7 million. Also, the accumulated victim count for 2023 so far stands at 233.9 million, trailing the pace of the previous year that saw 425 million estimated victims.

About the Author

About the Author

Kamso Oguejiofor is a former Content Writer at SafetyDetectives. He has over 2 years of experience writing and editing topics about cybersecurity, network security, fintech, and information security. He has also worked as a freelance writer for tech, health, beauty, fitness, and gaming publications, and he has experience in SEO writing, product descriptions/reviews, and news stories. When he’s not studying or writing, he likes to play basketball, work out, and binge watch anime and drama series.