United Kingdom is 9th most breached country, cybersecurity study finds

Cybersecurity, News

The latest study by cybersecurity company Surfshark ranks the United Kingdom as the 9th most breached country in second quarter (Q2) of 2023.

Globally, a total of 110.8M accounts were breached during this period, with the United States ranking first and amounting to almost half of all breaches from April through June.

Russia takes second place, while Spain is third, followed by France and Turkey. There is a 2.6 times increase in breached users worldwide compared to Q1 2023. North America was the most affected region by data breaches, followed by Europe and Asia.

Surfshark’s analysis of data breaches in Q2 2023 shows the UK is in 9th place globally and 5th in Europe with 915k leaked accounts (previously 263k in Q1 2023). The breach rate is 248% higher in Q2 2023 than it was in Q1 2023. Seven UK user accounts were leaked every minute in Q2 2023.

Global data from Surfshark’s data breach statistics update (Q2 2023) records 110.8M leaked accounts, with the US being 1st in the world (49.8M), followed by Russia (15.3M), Spain (3.7M), France (3.4M), and Turkey (2.8M). Globally, data breaches increased almost 3 times compared to the previous quarter, from 6 to over 14 user accounts leaked every second in Q2 2023. That is 855 accounts per minute versus 334 accounts per minute in the previous quarter.

“According to the most recent Surfshark’s global data breach statistics, leaked accounts surged almost threefold in the second quarter of 2023 compared to the previous quarter,” says Agneska Sablovskaja, Lead Researcher at Surfshark.

“Such alarming increase in data breaches highlights that the current data protection measures are not sufficient, and sensitive information remains at risk as cybercriminals continue to access it in ever higher numbers.”

North America most affected region 

In Q2 2023, North America was also the region with the highest quarter-over-quarter increase in its statistics on data breaches. The number increased 9 times, growing from 5.6M in Q1 2023 to 51.3M in Q2 2023. To put this into perspective, almost 1 in 2 accounts breached in Q2 2023 were of North American origin, with 97% of these being American. 

Europe dropped to being the second-most vulnerable region compared to the previous quarter, accounting for almost a third of the quarter’s breaches (28M). European breaches grew 56% in Q2 2023 compared to the previous quarter.

An additional 5% of the accounts were Asian (5.8M). All other regions comprised less than 5% of the quarter’s total, and almost 19% remain unknown. Out of all regions, Asia saw the greatest quarter-over-quarter decrease — 46%, bringing its total of almost 11M leaked accounts in Q1 2023 down to 5.8M in Q2 2023.

In descending order, the ten most breached countries of Q2 2023 were the US, Russia, Spain, France, Turkey, Australia, India, Italy, the UK, and Brazil. 

The countries with the highest breach density (number of leaked accounts per 1,000 residents): the US (147), Russia (106), Spain (78), Finland (78), Australia (72), Sweden (70), France (53), South Sudan (35), Turkey (32)  and Denmark (29).

Chris Price
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