The Identity Theft Resource Center has released their 2021 data breach report, with one of their key findings being that the number of data compromises hit an all-time high.

The ITRC is a non-profit dedicated to supporting the victims of cybercrime including individuals, businesses, and governments. In January, they released their 16th Annual Data Breach Report, which sheds light on the persistent, ever-growing threat of cybercrime. Users, enterprises, and organizations all stand to suffer in the wake of a data breach, and this past year’s numbers indicate that threat is not subsiding anytime soon. Here are some takeaway statistics from the report:

  • The overall number of data compromises (1,862) is up 68% from 2020’s total number
  • 2021’s total number of compromises beat out the previous all-time high of 1,506 in 2017
  • 293,927,708 individuals were affected in total
  • 83% of all compromises involved sensitive user information like social security numbers

According to the data, 2021 was a banner year for cybercriminals, with a significant shift occurring in how stolen data was being used. In an introductory letter to the report, President & CEO Eva C. Velasquez said this: “We may very well look back at 2021 as the milestone year when we officially moved from the era of identity theft to an era of identity fraud. That is to say, the time when cybercriminals shifted from mass data accumulation (identity theft) to mass data misuse (identity fraud). Fueling most identity fraud-related crimes was consumer information stolen from businesses in data breaches.”

Velasquez went on to say that “[...] consumer information was often the means to the end of attacking businesses through stolen credentials – logins and passwords.”

In short, not only are users at significant risk when their sensitive information is stolen, but businesses are, too. Data breaches are a lose-lose for every party involved, and as long as companies collect and store passwords, this problem will continue to grow. NuID’s authentication solution can help you stop storing passwords, so you don’t become part of a statistic in next year’s breach report.

You can read the entire ITRC 2021 Annual Data Breach Report by downloading it here. You can learn more about NuID’s efforts to eliminate data breaches at our site, in our White Paper, and through our blog where we cover everything from data breach news to explaining a nu model of identity.