Data breaches continue to be a problem, with one account being leaked every second in Q1 2023

Data breaches continue to be a problem, with one account being leaked every second in Q1 2023
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  • Global data breaches decreased in Q1 2023, but Europe was the only region that increased.
  • Russia, Taiwan, France, and Spain were among the countries with the highest number of breached accounts in Q1 2023.
Global data breaches decreased by 48.5% in the first quarter of 2023, according to a new report from Surfshark. The report found 41.6 million accounts were leaked in Q1 2023, down from 80.8 million in Q4 2022. The report also found that the most common type of data breach in Q1 2023 was a credential stuffing attack, which occurs when hackers use stolen login credentials to access accounts on other websites. Other common types of data breaches included phishing, SQL injection, and malware attacks.

Russia, Taiwan, France, and Spain were among the countries with the highest number of breached accounts in the last quarter, indicating an increase in data breaches.

Russian data breaches surged by 27.4%, with 6.6 million accounts leaked in 2023'Q1 compared to 5.2 million in 2022'Q4, making Russia the country with the highest number of data breaches globally in the current quarter. Taiwan saw the most significant quarter-over-quarter increase, jumping from 26th place in 2022'Q4 with 191,000 breached accounts to 3rd place with 4 million leaked accounts in 2023'Q1.

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Similarly, France and Spain experienced significant increases of almost four and five times, respectively, with 3.2 million and 3.1 million breached accounts in 2023'Q1 compared to 841,900 and 571,700 in 2022'Q4. However, the US reported a 25.4% decline in leaked accounts, from 6.7 million in 2022'Q4 to 5 million in 2023'Q1, it still accounted for one in eight breached accounts worldwide.

Conversely, India, China, and South Sudan, which were among the top five in the previous quarter, saw significant declines in leaked accounts in 2023'Q1. India's numbers dropped from 8.5 million to 2.1 million, and China's declined by almost 30 times, from 15.4 million to just over half a million. South Sudan had the largest quarter-over-quarter decrease, falling 108 times from 18.3 million to 169,300 breached accounts, dropping it to 18th place.

Europe is most affected by breaches in 2023


Europe ranks top in total number of leaked accounts in the first quarter of 2023, with 17.5 million recorded, surpassing any other region. Asia followed with 10.6 million, while North America reported half of that, with 5.3 million leaked accounts.

Moreover, Europe was the only region with a significant quarter-over-quarter increase in data breaches. The number of data breaches nearly doubled, rising from 9.9 million in 2022’Q4 to 17.5 million in 2023’Q1. To provide context, 2 out of 5 accounts breached in 2023’Q1 were of European origin, and 38% were Russian. Among the countries in the region, the highest quarter-over-quarter spikes in data breaches were recorded in Czechia (almost 9x), Switzerland (6x), and Spain (over 5x).
What can you do to protect yourself from data breaches?
  1. Use strong passwords and change them regularly.
  2. Enable multi-factor authentication whenever possible.
  3. Keep your software up to date.
  4. Be careful about what information you share online.
  5. Be wary of phishing emails and other scams.
  6. Back up your data regularly.
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