A recent cybersecurity study conducted by Surfshark has unveiled alarming insights into the state of data breaches in Q3 2023. According to the report, a total of 31.5 million accounts fell victim to breaches during this period, signifying a significant drop from the preceding quarter. The United States, however, topped the list of breached accounts, accounting for approximately a quarter of all incidents, totaling 8.1 million breaches. Russia secured the second position, followed by France, China, and Mexico.
Comparing this data to Q2 2023, the global landscape has seen a remarkable reduction in the number of breached users, marking a decrease of more than fourfold. In the previous quarter, over 110.8 million accounts were compromised, with the US leading the pack with 49.8 million breaches. The sharp contrast is evident as the frequency of data breaches plummeted from over 14 accounts per second in Q2 to just 4 accounts per second in Q3 2023.
Agneska Sablovskaja, Lead Researcher at Surfshark, emphasized the need for vigilance in light of these statistics. Despite the decrease, the report highlights that malicious actors still compromise over 240 online accounts every minute globally. Sablovskaja recommended maintaining accounts solely on actively used platforms and implementing two-factor authentication for enhanced security.
Europe emerged as the hardest-hit region by data breaches in Q3 2023, although the number decreased significantly, dropping from 48.1 million breaches in Q2 to 10.9 million. North America accounted for 30% of the breaches during the quarter, marking an 82% drop compared to the previous quarter. Meanwhile, Asia contributed an additional 12% to the total.
The study also identified the top ten most breached countries in Q3 2023, with the US, Russia, France, China, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Malaysia, the UK, and India rounding out the list.
In terms of breach density, Russia ranked highest, with 49 leaked accounts per 1,000 residents, followed closely by France and the US. The report concludes by offering steps to take following an account breach, including changing passwords, contacting the bank for compromised credit card details, scanning devices for malware, and requesting the deletion of leaked accounts when necessary.