RICHMOND, Va., Feb. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – The global economy may have remained weak in 2011, but criminal efforts to compromise personal information remained strong, according to Risk Based Security, Inc. (RBS). The total number of records exposed in 2011 topped 368 million and represents the highest annual lost records total ever recorded. The previous high mark was in 2009 with over 191 million records. Even more alarming is that 33 percent of the data breach incidents reported the number of records exposed is unknown and thus do not appear in the records total.
Risk Based Security’s 2011 year-end “Data Breach Intelligence” report shows that four incidents in 2011 have been added to the Top 10 all time ‘records lost’ list. When it comes to lost records, threats external to the organization dominate by accounting for 86.69% of all records lost in 2011. The RBS Data Breach Intelligence report also revealed that computer-based intrusion (i.e., hacking) was responsible for 33 percent of the 2011 breaches, totaling 305,809,012 records. This represents 83 percent of the total number of exposed records in 2011. “Stolen Laptop”, the number one breach type all time through 2010, has now been replaced at the top spot by hacking.
This latest information and research conducted by Risk Based Security suggests that organizations in all industries need to take note that they face a very real threat from security breaches. Whether it is the constantly increasing security threats, ever-evolving IT technologies, or limited security resources, data breaches and the costs related to response and mitigation are escalating quickly.