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Cyber crime: number of breaches and records exposed 2005-2020

In 2019, the number of data breaches in the United States amounted to 1,473 with over 164.68 million sensitive records exposed. In the first half of 2020, there were 540 reported data breaches.

Data breaches and exposed records – additional information

Data breaches have gained attention with the increasing use of digital files and companies and users large reliance on digital data. Even though data breaches happened before digitalization of information – for instance, looking at one’s hard copy of medical files without authorization could be considered a data breach – the popularity of the digital platforms brought data breach to a new dimension as the volume and importance of the data exposed have considerably increased. Worldwide, identity theft is the most common type of data breach incident, accounting for 59 percent of all global data breach incidents in 2016. The largest data breach to date was uncovered in 2016, as online platform Yahoo announced hackers stole user information associated with at least 1 billion accounts in 2013. Another Yahoo hack was uncovered only a few months earlier, revealing 500 million compromised data records.

The number of data breaches and the number of exposed records in the U.S. have reached the highest figures to date in 2018. Nearly 471 million records were exposed in the U.S. in 2018, whereas the number of data breaches in the country added up to 1,257 that year. The business sector was the most affected by data theft as this particular sector accounted for the vast majority of all exposed records in 2018. In terms of loss in the United States, cyber crimes have the highest average annual costs for the financial services industry.

Annual number of data breaches and exposed records in the United States from 2005 to 1st half 2020

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Release date

August 2020


United States

Survey time period

2005 to H1 2020

Special properties

sensitive records exposed; excluding non-sensitive records exposed

Supplementary notes

No data available on the number of records exposed in H1 2020.

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Statistics on "Health care and cyber security"

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