A new cybersecurity report has shown that over 82,000 users experienced account breaches in the first quarter of the year 2023.
This was disclosed in the latest study by cybersecurity company, Surfshark. This is a sharp contrast and a huge surge when compared to 50,000 accounts breached in Q4’2022.
According to the report, from January to March 2023 (Q1’2023) globally, a total of 41.6 million accounts were breached in Q1’2023, with Russia, the US, Taiwan, France, Spain, India, Czechia, South Korea, and Italy as the 10 most breached countries in the quarter.
A data or account breach is an incident in which sensitive, protected or confidential data is copied, transmitted, viewed, stolen, altered or used by an individual that isn’t authorised to do so.
Although in the now defunct Nigeria Data Protection Regulation 2019 (NDPR), companies were not obligated to report data breaches.
Nigeria has been ranked the 32nd most account-breached country in the world as against the 41st place in the last quarter of 2022. These latest numbers represent a 64% increase from the fourth quarter of 2022.
The report noted that globally, one user account is breached by hackers every second in Q1’2023.
Surfshark collated the data from 29,000 publicly available databases and aggregated by email address. To determine the location of the email address, the firm and its partners used associated parameters, such as domain names, IP addresses, locales, coordinates, currency or phone numbers, and then a statistical analysis of their findings was carried out.
Recall that earlier this year, the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB) commenced an investigation into allegations of data breach by two Nigerian banks. “There are reports by the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) which indicated that within nine months of 2020, fraudsters attempted 46,126 attacks and they were successful with 41,979 occasions representing 91 per cent of the time,” according to Vincent Olatunji, National Commissioner of NDPB. “This level of vulnerability to a data breach is unacceptable.”
Aside from the two banks, the NDPB is currently investigating over 110 companies on data breach allegations. “When you factor in the lack of due diligence on the part of data controllers in engaging data processors or vendors that have access to the personal data of customers, you find in some cases abuse and violation of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) and section 37 of the 1999 Constitution,” says Olatunji.
“According to Surfshark’s study, data breaches declined globally in the first quarter of 2023 if we compare it to the previous one,” said Agneska Sablovskaja, Lead Researcher at Surfshark.
“However, the fact that over 40 million accounts were breached in just a few months is still a cause for concern. Those whose data was compromised are at an increased risk of being targeted by cybercriminals as their personal information can be utilized for phishing attacks, fraud, identity theft, and other serious cybercrimes,” Sablovskaja said.