According to Gemalto research, over 1.9 million data records were nicked compared to just under 1.4 million in all of 2016, representing an increase of 164 percent.
The report said that the numbers of data records pinched will grow significantly, especially as government regulations in the US, Europe and elsewhere enact laws to protect the privacy and data of their constituents by associating a monetary value to improperly securing data.
“Security is no longer a reactive measure but an expectation from companies and consumers”, the report said.
Gemalto’s research found identity theft to be the leading type of data breach, accounting for 74 percent of all breaches in the first six months of this year. The number of records exposed as a result of identity theft jumped 255 percent.
North America maintained its position as the number one attack target, making up over 86 percent of both total breaches and total records stolen.
Gemalto said that North America has always seen the most declared data breaches, but said it expects that to change once the General Data Protection Regulation comes into effect next year.
In the first of half of this year European companies reported 49 data breaches, reflecting just five percent of the global total and a decline of 35 percent on the previous six months, Gemalto said.