A Canalys report found that 31 billion data records were compromised in 2020, up by 171% from the previous year and making up more than 50% of the 55 billion data records compromised since 2005, according to ZDNet. The report also stated a 60% increase in ransomware incidents, compared to 2019. "Prioritize cybersecurity and invest in broadening protection, detection and response measures or face disaster," Matthew Ball, chief analyst at Canalys, warned. Researchers cite a link between the increase in cybersecurity incidents and the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced companies worldwide to go digital, even without sufficient knowledge about new security requirements. "These measures were often at the expense of cybersecurity and bypassed longstanding corporate policies, leaving many exposed to exploitation by highly organized and sophisticated threat actors, as well as other more opportunistic hackers. For many, cybersecurity was an afterthought, as they had to focus primarily on staying in business," the report indicated.