GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Nearly half of all data breaches in the world in 2016 happened in the U.S., a new report says.
The annual report from Risk Based Security, released Wednesday, says 68 percent of breaches recorded in 2016 happened in the U.S. The U.S. saw 2,000 of them — almost 10 times as many as the country with the next most breaches. 2.9 billion user records held by American organizations were compromised in those hacks.
“It’s a target-rich environment. It’s usually financially motivated, so there’s a lot of targets in the U.S.,” John Hey, the COO of Grandville-based IT firm Trivalent Group, explained. “And the other thing, which is a little bit even more unfortunate, is that the U.S. kind of lags behind other a lot of countries in taking security measures.”
He cited the nation’s late adopting of the EMV security chips in credit cards that aim to protect users’ information.==Watch the full interview with Hey above.==
Hey said the ability to trace the origin of attacks is “just a tick behind where they’re actually coming from.” He said there’s been some success, but it’s a struggle for authorities and private security firms to keep up.
Taking some simple actions can go a long way in protecting yourself, like having a strong password and changing it often and being wary of unfamiliar emails.
“The best security measures that even a business that’s minding its p’s and q’s can put in place, an unknowing user can undo,” Hey said.