IT | Security

Chronology of Data Breaches for 2011

By: Absolute Team | 1/6/2012

With 2011 drawing to a close, it's time to look at how we fared this year in terms of data breaches in the US. The statistics of data breaches only show known data breaches, so we can expect that the 2011 figure will continue to climb as data breaches that have already occurred are discovered in the coming months. Many data breaches also go unreported, so these figures should be considered conservative.

There are a few main websites that keep somewhat real-time information on data breaches, so we will compare the data they show for 2011.

PrivacyRights.org Data Breach Figures (last update, December 26, 2011)

  • 557 total breaches in 2011 (604 in 2010)
  • 30,678,619 records exposed in 2011 (12,341,662 in 2010)

DataLossDB.org Data Breach Figures (last update December 28, 2011)

  • 820 worldwide total breaches in 2011
  • Last tally of records exposed in 2011 was over 125 million worldwide (last updated in July)

idtheftcenter.org Data Breach Figures (last update December 27, 2011)

  • 414 total breaches in 2011 (662 in 2010)
  • 22,945,773 records exposed in 2011 (16,167,542 in 2010)

Whichever source of information you refer to, the numbers are staggering. Though reported breaches may be down overall, the number of exposed records was dramatically higher. There were many significant data breaches in 2011 that affected millions of people at once.

Let's hope 2012 brings some improvements… though, realistically, we probably will continue to see these numbers rise.