Data breaches declined by 48% in 2020, but the tally of compromised records jumped by 141% to 37 billion, according to the 2020 Year End Data Breach QuickView Report, a study by Risk-Based Security.
That number of exposed records is the largest ever for a single year since Risk Based Security started its annual tracking.
Risk Based Security itself wonders whether the reported decline in breaches is accurate.
“We do not believe fewer breaches are happening,” states Inga Goddijn, executive vice president at Risk Based Security.
Goddijn adds: “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.”
Combined with a rise in ransomware, “the particularly pernicious practice of leaking data stolen during the attack has been a leading theme of the year,” Goddijn continues.
The changing tactics means “less information about events is being disclosed,” Goddijn concludes. “It is anyone’s guess where 2021 might take us.”