Every second, the personal information of two online users gets leaked, according to a recent report from Surfshark.
The report highlights data breach statistics by country in the first quarter of 2022. The overall trend in comparison to Q4 2021 seems to be positive. As such, there was a 58% global decrease in breaches, and fewer users had their data leaked.
In the last quarter of 2021, 43,169,912 email accounts were breached, whereas in 2022, only 18,174,132 incidents took place. Over the entire year of 2021, almost one billion emails were exposed, affecting almost 1 in 5 users.
At the same time, in Q4 2021, six users had their data leaked every second, which has since improved to two users in the same period.
When it comes to specific countries, 20 nations accounted for 70% of all breaches in the first quarter of 2021, and the top five made up for 50% of them.
Russia tops the list for data breaches, with over 3.5M internet users affected. As more state-affiliated and independent hacker groups, such as Anonymous, choose Russia as a target following its invasion of Ukraine, the number of data breaches skyrockets. Consequently, the quarter-to-quarter breach number increased by 11%, outgrowing “the usual frontrunner, the US.”
The United States, in turn, occupied the second position in terms of data breaches, although the number of affected users fell by almost 50% in comparison with the last quarter of 2021, totaling around 2.5M incidents.
Poland came in third place, experiencing a huge spike in cases (514%,) with 961K users affected in comparison to 159K breaches in Q4 2021. According to the report, Polish authorities reported a wave of phishing attacks and rising impersonation fraud around the same time. The government also confessed that it had previously purchased Israeli Pegasus spyware, which, according to the Polish Deputy Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, “is used by nations around the world to tackle crime and corruption.” The leaders denied multiple allegations of the government using it to spy on the political opposition.
Surprisingly, Ukraine occupied only the 15th position globally, suffering “67% fewer breaches than in the quarter before the invasion.” In the period of October-December 2021, Ukraine experienced the most breaches in Eastern Europe.
Avoiding data breaches involves being aware of the risk and being suspicious of any unusual activity. Following proper cybersecurity measures is also crucial.
“Not using the same password everywhere is a basic but critical one. Use a password manager if you need to use passwords. Always activate 2-factor authentication wherever possible. It’s easy to do but makes it just that little bit harder for those with bad intentions,” Jacob Ideskog, the CTO of Curity, told Cybernews.