The number of US data breaches tracked in 2016 hit an all-time record high of 1093, up 40% on the previous year, according to a new report from the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) and CyberScout.
The financial services sector accounted for 52 of the breaches - just 4.8%, making the least hit of five tracked industries, behind business, healthcare, education and the government and military.
For the eighth consecutive year, hacking, skimming and phishing attacks were the leading cause of data breach incidents, accounting for 55.5% of all instances. Of these, many were a result of CEO spear-phishing efforts in which highly sensitive data, typically information required for state and federal tax filings, was exposed.
Breaches involving accidental email and internet exposure of information accounted for 9.2% of the total, with employee error at 8.7%. With the exception of hacking, all other categories reflected decreases from 2015 figures.