About 1.4 billion data records were compromised worldwide during 2016 due to 1,792 data breaches.
This number represents an increase of 86 percent as compared to 2015, according to a new report by Gemalto.
Singapore recorded two breach incidents in 2016, which has not changed much over the past four years with two incidents happening in 2015, three in 2014, and four in 2013.
In 2016, the top three countries in the Asia Pacific region that had the most number of breach incidents are Australia (44 breach incidents); India (24 breach incidents) and New Zealand (16 breach incidents).
In 2016, identity theft was the leading type of data breach, accounting for 59 percent of all data breaches. Fifty-two percent of the data breaches last year did not disclose the number of compromised records at the time they were reported.
"The Breach Level Index highlights four major cybercriminal trends over the past year. Hackers are casting a wider net and are using easily-attainable account and identity information as a starting point for high value targets," said Jason Hart, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Data Protection at Gemalto.
Infiltrating large databases
Fraudsters are shifting from attacks targeted at financial organisations to infiltrating large databases such as entertainment and social media sites.
These fraudsters use encryption to make breached data unreadable, then hold it for ransom and decrypting once they are paid.
In 2016, identity theft was the leading type of data breach, accounting for 59 percent of all data breaches. The second most prevalent type of breach in 2016 is account access based breaches, which made up 54 percent of all breached records.
The number of records breached in malicious outsider attacks increased by 286 percent from 2015. Hacktivist data breaches also increased in 2016 by 31 percent, but only account for 3 percent of all breaches that occurred last year.
"Knowing exactly where their data resides and who has access to it will help enterprises outline security strategies based on data categories that make the most sense for their organisations," added Hart.
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