2015 Data Breaches Ahead of 2014 Record Pace

Paul Ausick

The latest account from the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) reports that there has been a total of 732 data breaches recorded through December 8, 2015, and that more than 176 million records have been exposed.

The annual total includes 21.5 million records exposed in the attack on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in June and 78.8 million health care customer records exposed at Anthem in February.

The total number of breaches jumped by 15 incidents from the prior report on December 1, launching the total number of incidents to date this year to nearly 1% above the 726 incidents as of the same date in 2014. The ITRC recorded 783 breaches last year, and that total could easily be topped by the end of this year.

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Here’s a rundown of the ITRC report for last week:

  • The business sector accounts for over 16 million exposed records in 295 incidents so far in 2015. That represents 40.3% of the incidents and 9.2% of the exposed records.
  • The medical/health care sector posted the second-largest percentage of the total breaches so far this year, 35.1% (257) out of the total of 732. The number of records exposed in these breaches totaled over 120 million, or 68.1% of the total so far in 2015.
  • The number of banking/credit/financial breaches totals 66 (unchanged from a week ago) for the year to date and involves more than 5 million records, some 9% of the total number of breaches and 2.9% of the records exposed.
  • The government/military sector has suffered 58 data breaches so far this year (unchanged from last week), representing about 19.4% of the total number of records exposed so far this year and 7.9% of the incidents. More than 34 million records have been compromised in the government/military sector to date in 2015.
  • The educational sector has seen 56 data breaches in 2015, up one from a week ago. The sector accounts for 7.7% of all breaches for the year and nearly 760,000 exposed records, about 0.4% of the total so far in 2015.

In all of 2014, ITRC tracked an annual record number of 783 data breaches, up 27.5% compared with 2013. The previous high was 662 breaches in 2010. Since beginning to track data breaches in 2005, ITRC had counted 5,679 breaches through November 10, 2015, involving more than 854 million records. Compared with 2014, the number of data breaches to date in 2015 is up by six (0.8%) from 726 recorded to the same date last year.

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