Gemalto has released results of the latest Breach Level Index (BLI) report that looks at the state of global breaches for the first six months of 2015. The BLI tracks and rates data breaches globally based on type of data and number of records stolen, source of the breach, and whether or not the data was encrypted.

The report revealed that 888 data breaches occurred, compromising 246 million records around the world. Data breaches increased by 10 percent when compared to the first half of 2014. The number of compromised data records declined by 41 percent during the first six months of this year. Despite the decrease in compromised records, large data breaches continued to expose large quantities of personal information and identities.

State-sponsored attacks accounted for 41 percent of stolen data records. Malicious outsiders were the leading source of data breaches, accounting for 62 percent of breaches.

Identity theft remained the most popular type of breach and accounted for 75 percent of all records compromised and 53 percent of data breaches in the first half of 2015. Government and healthcare sectors accounted for about two-thirds of compromised data records. The retail sector saw a drop in the number of stolen data records. They accounted for four percent, compared to 38 percent for the same time last year.

In Europe, the UK had the most data breaches by far. They experienced 63 breaches in the region, followed by Germany with eight and the Netherlands with six. The UK had 8.3 million records exposed, 3.4 percent of the global total. The UK came in second for most worldwide data breaches, behind the US.

“While the number of data breaches fluctuates, it's still clear that breaches are not a matter of ‘if' but ‘when.' The Breach Level Index data shows that most companies are not able to protect their data once their perimeter defenses are compromised. Although more companies are encrypting data, they are not doing it at the levels needed to reduce the magnitude of these attacks,” said Jason Hart, VP and chief technology officer for data protection at Gemalto.