Data leaks in Netherlands increase by 30%

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The Dutch Data Protection Authority reports receiving 1173 reports of data leaks of personal identifying information in the Netherlands via hacking, malware or phishing in the year 2020. This is an increase of 30% compared to 2019, which the Dutch organization refers to as “explosive growth”. The year 2019 also saw a big increase of 25% compared to 2018.

Some Cyber criminal groups specifically target organizations that process sensitive data. Increasingly these criminals are very careful in staying below the radar in a compromised network for a longer time, while escalating privileges on the network and further collecting further data. After achieving the same level of access as your IT department and stealing all data, cyber criminals will then often execute ransomware attacks.

Based on projections 2020 saw between 600 thousand and 2 million people in the Netherlands being hit by a data leak which required only a password and no multi-factor authentication. The press release by Dutch Data Protection Authority did not clarify further if the lack of MFA was because of users not selecting this option or businesses not providing this option.

Personal and Business Impact of Data Theft

Data leaks can result in identity theft, loss of funds, breach of privacy and other damages for individuals.

For businesses data theft can lead to theft of intellectual property and high financial costs both directly, and indirect via reputational damage and subsequent loss of existing customers or future business.

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