300m accounts breached in 2023 – only 1% in the UK

new gloves2UK firms are quietly breathing a collective sigh of relief following new figures which reveal that the country remains near to the bottom of the global data breach rankings, way behind the competition and only pipped to tenth place in the table by Brazil.

The latest data breach yearly recap by Surfshark shows that a total of 300 million accounts were breached in 2023, with the US ranking first and amounting to around a third of all breaches (97 million).

Russia takes second place (79 million), while France is third (10 million), followed by Spain (8 million) and India (5 million). The UK is in ninth position on 3.3 million – just 1% of the total. The breach rate in the US more than tripled compared to 2022, while the global trends show a general decrease.

The US jumped to first place from third (with 31 million breaches) in 2022, after Russia and China. In 2022, Russia had the highest number of breaches. However, in 2023, the number of breaches decreased by 27%. Despite the decrease, Russia still holds over a quarter of all breached accounts in 2023.

Q2 2023 had the most data breaches over the past year – 134 million, which is 80% more than the yearly average (75 million). Q3 2023 had the fewest data breaches over the past year (31 million). In the most recent quarter (Q4 2023), Panama and Israel had the biggest increase in data breaches.

LinkedIn had the biggest instance of people’s personal details being made available for nefarious actors in 2023, with almost 11.5 million emails leaked due to the scraping of publicly available information. Out of the leaked accounts, 1.6 million were American and 1.1 million were French.

In descending order, the 10 most breached countries of 2023 were the US, Russia, France, Spain, India, Taiwan, Australia, Italy, the UK, and Brazil.

The countries with the highest breach density in 2023 (number of leaked accounts per 1,000 residents): Russia (542), the US (285), Czechia (207), Taiwan (169), Spain (164), France (162), Australia (134), Panama (98), Sweden (96) and Finland (89).

Surfshark lead researcher Agneska Sablovskaja said: “As we look back on 2023, there’s a positive trend in data breaches – a 20% decrease in affected accounts compared to 2022. Despite this improvement, 300 million users worldwide still experienced breaches.

“Even a single account data leak can lead to unauthorised access, risking the misuse of personal information, potential identity or financial theft. Using the same passwords across multiple accounts can compromise others, so it’s crucial to use unique and strong passwords for different online services.”

Despite the UK’s ranking, last week the National Cyber Security Centre, part of GCHQ, warned British businesses to be on red alert over a fresh wave of malicious cyber attacks, particularly ransomware demands, with the rise of AI systems lowering the entry barrier to less skilled cyber criminals.

Related stories
UK firms braced for fresh wave of ransomware attacks
UK firms still in dark over new cyber security measures
Major brands warned over extortion after global attack
ICO inundated with reports over Capita data breach
KFC owner warns customers over potential data theft
Royal Mail ransom demands ‘hold lessons for all firms’
Firms suffer as Royal Mail fails to lift block on new post

Print Friendly