Since 2013, an estimated 9 billion data breaches have occurred across the world – with 3.2 billion people currently connected to the internet, that’s nearly 3 breaches per person over the past 4 years. Even taking this into consideration, there’s another statistic that even more surprising.
Everyday, 5 million data breaches occur. However, according to the Data Breach Index, only 4% of those breaches were classified as secure – meaning encryption was used and data was rendered useless to the hacker. This shows there is a clear gap between the threat hacking poses and the measures people use to protect against it.
Corporate hacking and governmental data breaches tend to monopolize the headlines in between celebrity hacks, and with good reason. The vast reserves of data controlled by businesses, governments, healthcare entities, military complexes, and education institutes translate to tantalizing targets for hackers. In fact, 90% of all data breaches occur within these areas. But for the other 10% – private users – the effects can be even more severe.
Although the breach level index shows a good overview of the scale of data breaches, it’s also important to understand that most data breaches go unrecorded. According to Business Matters Magazine, 1 in 3 data breaches in the UK are kept quiet by IT security workers. If these statistics are true, this means the total number of data breaches could be 3 times the amount stated in the breach level index.
Larger entities have the ability to absorb significant losses – albeit with a loss of reputation, trust, and finances. If a private user gets hacked, however, the potential effects could be severe. This is why file encryption is still the most effective way to protect information – at a personal, corporate, and governmental level.
The easiest way to protect yourself is to use file encryption software. As we previously talked about in our post on the shared responsibility model, relying on the security measures put in place by your cloud service providers or OS is not enough. They act like a castle wall – a considerable deterrent, but if a weak spot is found, protection measures are also needed inside your boundaries.
So, you want to act. What should be done? Take a look at your personal files – anything that you consider sensitive should be protected with file encryption. Make a habit of encrypting new files. Routinely backup your files in a secure location like Dropbox – fully encrypted, of course. And there you have it – the best way to protect yourself against data breaches.
Yrjö and the Filebolt team