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Study: Worldwide data breaches up 49% in 2014

BY Dan Berthiaume

Amsterdam, Netherlands – Data breaches are on the rise around the world. Digital security provider Gemalto released the latest edition of its Breach Level Index (BLI), revealing that more than 1,500 data breaches led to one billion data records compromised worldwide during 2014.

These numbers represent a 49% increase in data breaches and a 78% increase in data records that were either stolen or lost compared to 2013. The main motivation for cybercriminals in 2014 was identity theft with 54% of the all data breaches being identity theft-based, more than any breach category including access to financial data. In addition, identity theft breaches also accounted for one-third of the most severe data breaches categorized by the BLI as either catastrophic (with a BLI score of between 9 and 10) or Severe (7 to 8.9). Secure breaches, which involved breaches of perimeter security where compromised data was encrypted in full or in part, increased to 4% from 1%.

In addition to the shift toward identity theft, breaches also became more severe last year with two-thirds of the 50 most severe breaches according to their BLI score having occurred in 2014. Also, the number of data breaches involving more than 100 million compromised data records doubled compared to 2013.

In terms of industries, retail and financial services experienced the most noticeable trends compared to other industry sectors in 2014. Retail experienced a slight increase in data breaches compared to last year, accounting for 11% of all data breaches in 2014. However, in terms of data records compromised, the retail industry saw its share increase to 55% compared to 29% last year due to an increased number of attacks that targeted point-of-sale systems.

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Regulations may ground Amazon drones

BY Dan Berthiaume

Seattle – A new set of stiff federal regulations reportedly may limit or even scuttle Amazon.com’s plans for a drone-based aerial delivery service. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) says operators of unmanned commercial aircraft, which would include Amazon drones, must keep the craft in their line of sight and not fly them over people.

The FAA is currently consulting with individuals and interested parties about drone regulations, and has said it is willing to be flexible in how rules are written and implemented. Amazon.com has been testing drones indoors since 2013 and wants to conduct outdoor pilot tests of its drone-based “Prime Air” delivery service, which would bring customers their orders in 30 minutes or less, by the end of this year.

Amazon has said it would develop Prime Air overseas if drone regulations in the U.S. prove too cumbersome. Other proposed FAA regulations regarding drones include keeping them to an altitude of 500 ft. and a maximum speed of 100 miles per hour. Operators would have to be at least 17 years old, pass an aeronautical knowledge test and earn an FAA operator certificate.

Chinese e-commerce provider Alibaba and German parcel service Deutsche Post DHL are also conducting drone tests in their respective countries.

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Report: Tesco may lay off 10,000 workers

BY Dan Berthiaume

London – Leading U.K. supermarket chain Tesco plc is reportedly considering laying off as many as 10,000 employees in response to poor profit performance. According to the Sunday Telegraph, Tesco may lay off up to 6,000 employees from its head office and 43 stores the retailer already announced it will close, and eliminate the rest by streamlining operations.

Jobs eliminated by streamlining would include executive positions. In January, Tesco said it would shutter 43 stores with as many as 2,000 resulting layoffs.

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