computer keyboard

With 4.1 Billion Records Exposed in Six Months, 2019 Is On Course To Be Record Year For Data Breaches

Only eight breaches were responsible for the exposure of 3.2 billion records in the first half of the year, according to new research.

In the first six months of 2019, 4.1 billion compromised records were exposed in more than 3,800 publicly disclosed breaches, according to a new study published by Risk Based Security, a security research firm.

While security breaches have been in the headlines all year long, a large majority of the records ⁠— 3.2 billion ⁠— were revealed in just eight breaches. The largest of those breaches involved, a company that approves email addresses for third-party customers. That breach of nearly a billion names, email addresses and other personal information was due to an unsecured database that was openly accessible online, 24/7 Wall Street reported.

The second largest breach also involved a massive 885 million real estate transaction records, which were maintained by First American Financial. Cultura Colectiva, a Mexico-based digital media company, exposed 540 million Facebook users’ data through a misconfigured database in the third-largest leak.

Based on the number of records leaked, all three were among the top 10 breaches of all time, 24/7 Wall Street reported.

But while Risk Based Security analyzed the largest breaches, it also found that a large majority of breaches reported in early 2019 had a “moderate to low severity score,” meaning they exposed 10,000 or fewer records. As Forbes notes, this is because small businesses are often easy targets for hackers due to their lack of cybersecurity protections for their data.

“Quarter after quarter the pattern has repeated itself,” said Inga Goddijn, executive vice president at Risk Based Security. “The vast majority of incidents are attributable to malicious actors outside an organization. Unauthorized access of systems or services, skimmers and exposure of sensitive data on the Internet have been the top three breach types since January of 2018.”

The business sector was responsible for 67 percent of the reported breaches and nearly 85 percent of the exposed records, the firm found. And while only 149 of the 3,813 incidents involved misconfigured databases and services, those breaches exposed over 3.2 billion records. Indeed, just this week, a security researcher discovered that MoviePass, the movie ticket subscription service, exposed customer credit card numbers by not protecting a crucial database with a password.

About the Author

Haley Samsel is an Associate Content Editor for the Infrastructure Solutions Group at 1105 Media.


  • Maximizing Your Security Budget This Year

    7 Ways You Can Secure a High-Traffic Commercial Security Gate  

    Your commercial security gate is one of your most powerful tools to keep thieves off your property. Without a security gate, your commercial perimeter security plan is all for nothing. Read Now

  • Busy South Africa Building Integrates Custom Access Control System

    Nicol Corner, based in Bedfordview, Johannesburg, South Africa, is home to a six-star fitness club, prime office space, and an award-winning rooftop restaurant. This is the first building in South Africa to have its glass façade fully incorporate fritted glazing, saving 35% on energy consumption. Nicol Corner (Pty) LTD has developed a landmark with sophisticated design and unique architecture by collaborating with industry-leading partners and specifying world-class equipment throughout the project. This includes installing a high-spec, bespoke security and access control system. Read Now

  • Only 13 Percent of Research Institutions Are Prepared for AI

    A new survey commissioned by SHI International and Dell Technologies underscores the transformative potential of artificial intelligence (AI) while exposing significant gaps in preparedness at many research institutions. Read Now

  • Survey: 70 Percent of Organizations Have Established Dedicated SaaS Security Teams

    Seventy percent of organizations have prioritized investment in SaaS security, establishing dedicated SaaS security teams, despite economic uncertainty and workforce reductions. This was a key finding in the fourth Annual SaaS Security Survey Report: 2025 CISO Plans and Priorities released today by the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), the world’s leading organization dedicated to defining standards, certifications, and best practices to help ensure a secure cloud computing environment. Read Now

Featured Cybersecurity


New Products

  • AC Nio

    AC Nio

    Aiphone, a leading international manufacturer of intercom, access control, and emergency communication products, has introduced the AC Nio, its access control management software, an important addition to its new line of access control solutions. 3

  • 4K Video Decoder

    3xLOGIC’s VH-DECODER-4K is perfect for use in organizations of all sizes in diverse vertical sectors such as retail, leisure and hospitality, education and commercial premises. 3

  • HD2055 Modular Barricade

    Delta Scientific’s electric HD2055 modular shallow foundation barricade is tested to ASTM M50/P1 with negative penetration from the vehicle upon impact. With a shallow foundation of only 24 inches, the HD2055 can be installed without worrying about buried power lines and other below grade obstructions. The modular make-up of the barrier also allows you to cover wider roadways by adding additional modules to the system. The HD2055 boasts an Emergency Fast Operation of 1.5 seconds giving the guard ample time to deploy under a high threat situation. 3