InfoWatch Global Data Leakage Report 2012 | InfoWatch

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InfoWatch Global Data Leakage Report 2012

InfoWatch Research Center bring you the latest annual report on worldwide information leaks recorded and reported in the media during 2012.

The report is based on InfoWatch's own database, which its experts have been updating since 2004. InfoWatch's database of leaks includes incidents (information leaks) which have occurred in organizations as a result of the inadvertent or intentional actions of their employees, and which have been reported in the media or other publicly available sources (including blogs and web forums). This means that the study only includes a small (no more than 1–5%) proportion of the actual leaks that occurred worldwide. Nonetheless, the fact that the key indicators have remained stable allows us to conclude that the report is representative.

Key Facts

  • In 2012, 934 confidential information leaks were recorded and reported in the media worldwide. This is a 16% increase compared with the previous year.
  • According to official media reports, direct losses suffered by credit and financial institutions as a result of leaks during the first half of 2012 amounted to slightly more than $37.8 million.
  • More than 1.8 billion records were compromised, including those containing financial and personally identifiable data.
  • The proportion of accidental leaks is steadily decreasing, representing 38% of the total.
  • Government and municipal organizations accounted for a higher share of leaks at 29% (9% higher than in 2011).
  • The majority of leaks – 89.4% – involved personal data.
  • The most common channel for data leaks was hard copy documents (22.3%).

The prediction InfoWatch made last year – that the number of leaks would stabilize – has not been proved correct. This is due to the increased attention being paid to the issue of information security by all involved in the process, with government and industry regulators playing a particular role. Unfortunately, this is so far happening to a greater extent in Western countries than, for example, in Russia.

Leak Channels

Leak Channels 2012

The most significant change was recorded in the number of incidents involving hard copies. Oddly enough, it is organizational procedures which are the weak point in information security today. In 2012, this type of leak increased by a further 3%, accounting for 22.3% of all leaks.