The number of devastating cyberattacks is surging — and it’s likely to get much worse

Almost 2 billion data records around the world were lost or stolen by cyberattacks in the first half of 2017, according to the latest findings by digital security provider Gemalto, and the number of breaches reported by companies looks set to rise.

The impact of security breaches is also harming the share prices of affected firms.

“Two-thirds of firms breached had their share price negatively impacted. Out of the 65 companies evaluated the breach cost shareholders over $52.40 billion,” said Jason Hart, vice president and chief technology officer for data protection at Gemalto, in a press release.

There were 918 data breaches which compromised 1.9 billion data records in the first six months of 2017, according to Gemalto’s latest breach level index published Wednesday. The number of lost, stolen or compromised records increased by 164 percent compared to the same period in 2016.

Of these 918 breaches, 500 breaches had an unknown number of compromised records, while 22 of the largest data breaches involved more than one million compromised records.

Part of the increase is likely that companies feel more pressure to be transparent and reveal data breaches. New regulations such as the U.K. data protection bill, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation and Australia’s Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Act are set to come into force in the coming months and years, and will push firms to disclose hacks and security breaches.

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