Social Media data leaks account for 41% of all records breached

Edward G. | July 26, 2022

Social media is quickly turning into a primary security weak point. A single data breach within one of the major social media networks can result in millions of records being stolen.

Within the past few years, we have seen multiple large-scale data breaches involving companies like Facebook and Twitter. Yet, we rarely see the bigger picture.

Luckily, data presented by Atlas VPN gives insight into the scope of the issue. It turns out that 41% of all compromised records in 2021 originated from social media data leaks, which is a significant upsurge compared to 25% in 2020.

The data presented is based on the 2022 ForgeRock Consumer Identity Breach Report, which gathered data from various sources, such as 2021 Identity Theft Resource Center, IBM Ponemon, TechCrunch, Forrester Research, as well as UpGuard, and IdentityForce.

A few other factors make social media a security weak point within the current online landscape.

First, criminals can prey on business clients by posing as the company in order to obtain credentials. This is becoming especially prevalent since companies increasingly use social networks to communicate with customers.

Second, fraudsters frequently attempt to infiltrate businesses by leveraging mutual connections, which create a false sense of security.

Moreover, people who overshare on social media make it simple for thieves to locate personal information that aids in company breaches. 

Steal BLACK FRIDAY deal!
0%
OFF

24% of records leaked from retail

Besides social networks, another major source of leaked information is the retail sector, which accounted for nearly a quarter of all records breached in 2021.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce Retail Indicator Division, e-commerce sales increased by 50% during the pandemic. Retail data breaches increased in frequency and severity during the same period. 

While the average cost of a retail breach was $2.01 million in 2020, it increased by 63% to $3.27 million in 2021.

Customer credit card, payment information, and personal data were the principal targets of retail data breaches. 

E-commerce websites and applications sometimes skip security precautions like two-factor authentication (2-FA) as they seek a simple user experience. 

When the enormous volumes of personal data that retail websites collect are not adequately protected, it creates the ideal environment for breaches and subsequent fraud. 

Finally, the healthcare sector is worth mentioning with only 1% of records, yet, at the same time, the information leaked is usually particularly sensitive.

Data compromised from healthcare institutions tends to include name, address, SSN, date of birth, and, in two-thirds of the breaches, actual medical history information. 

With this information in hand, cybercriminals can blackmail companies or even particular individuals.

To round up the findings, it’s obvious that retail and social media companies should go the extra mile in securing their customer information. In addition, even though healthcare providers leak only a fraction of the data, they should still safeguard their client data with particular care due to the sensitive nature of the information.

Security measures against data breaches

Some services, including Atlas VPN, offer data breach monitoring tools.

Data breach monitors track any data breaches related to your online accounts. It automatically scans leaked databases and informs you of any past or recent breaches where your personal information was exposed.

As always, we must mention the most effective countermeasure against data leaks. It is advised to enable multi-factor authentication on all of your accounts that offer the functionality. 

This way, even if your credentials are compromised, threat actors will not be able to access your account unless you lose your phone, and it is also found by ill-meaning individuals, which is less than likely.

Browse safely & anonymously with a VPN

Browse safely & anonymously with a VPN

Encrypt your internet traffic and defend against online snooping, hackers, governments, or ISPs.
Edward G.

Edward G.

Cybersecurity Researcher and Publisher at Atlas VPN. My mission is to scan the ever-evolving cybercrime landscape to inform the public about the latest threats.

Tags:

databreachdataleaksocialmediaretail

© 2022 Atlas VPN. All rights reserved.