Each week, Sontiq uses its BreachIQ capability to identify recent notable reported data breaches. These breaches are highlighted because of the heightened identity security risks to the victims. BreachIQ uses a proprietary algorithm to analyze more than 1,300 factors of a data breach and create a risk score on a scale of 1-10. The higher the score, the more severe the breach and level of risk.
One of the major challenges we’ve found in motivating consumers to take action about data breaches is a lack of context for the severity of risk created by the data breach. Unfortunately, coverage of data breaches frequently falls into one of two camps: Either the breach is covered as a devastating blow to consumers’ identity security and privacy, or the incident is portrayed as a trivial mishap that is unlikely to have serious consequences. In reality, of course, most breaches fall somewhere in the middle; they create meaningful risks to victims’ identities which can be mitigated by specific actions by those affected. Within BreachIQ, we tend to think about the risks created by breaches within the context of the severity of the identity crimes enabled by the data exposed in the breach: