Data breaches in 2020 decreased by 48% but the number of records exposed have exceeded 37 billion.

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RICHMOND, VA, January 21, 2020 — Risk Based Security today released their 2020 Year End Data Breach QuickView Report, revealing that there were 3,932 publicly reported data breaches, compromising over 37 billion records.

Compared to 2019, the number of publicly reported breach events decreased by 48%. However, the total number of records compromised increased by 141% and is by far the most records exposed in a single year since RBS reporting began in 2005.


“2020 has challenged the security-minded community quite unlike any other, and the number of records exposed highlights how unique the year has been,” commented Inga Goddijn, Executive Vice President at Risk Based Security. “We do not believe fewer breaches are happening. Disruptions at certain governmental sources, delayed reporting, and declining news coverage have all contributed to fewer breaches coming to light in 2020, but that is only a part of the story. More complex and damaging attacks have also contributed to lengthy and complex investigations.”

“The rise of ransomware coupled with the particularly pernicious practice of leaking data stolen during the attack has been a leading theme of the year,” commented Inga Goddijn, Executive Vice President at Risk Based Security. “There were few signs that ransomware would explode into a preferred method for monetizing attacks and while the coverage of breach events has picked up once again, the changing tactics means less information about events is being disclosed. It is anyone’s guess where 2021 might take us.”

 

The 2020 Year End Data Breach QuickView Report covers data breaches publicly disclosed between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020.