Data breaches were up 15 percent during the first half of 2016 compared to the previous six months, Gemalto researchers reported, noting there was a total of 974 worldwide breaches compromising more that 554 million combined data records.
The firm's breach level index also found identity and personal data theft account for 64 percent of the data breaches, financial access accounted for 16 percent, account access accounted for 11 percent, existential data accounted for five percent, and four percent of the breaches were done to cause a nuisance.
Only four percent of these breaches were “Secure Breaches” in which encryption used on the stolen data rendered the goods useless, the index said.
When it comes to attribution, 69 percent of the breaches were caused by malicious outsiders, 18 percent were caused by accidental losses, nine percent were caused by malicious insiders, three percent by hacktivists and one percent were state sponsored.
Healthcare organizations account for nearly one-third of all data breaches and 92 percent of the companies that experienced these breaches reported commercial consequences as a result of the data breach.
"Over the past twelve months hackers have continued to go after both low hanging fruit and unprotected sensitive personal data that can be used to steal identities," Gemalto Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Data Protection Jason Hart said in a release. "The theft of user names and account affiliation may be irritating for consumers, but the failure of organizations to protect sensitive personal information and identities is a growing problem that will have implications for consumer confidence in the digital services and companies they entrust with their personal data."