IT | Security

Government Sector Data Breaches Are Increasing

By: Absolute Team | 11/1/2012

According to an analysis by Rapid7, more than 94 million records have been breached over a 3-year period due to government sector data breaches in the United States. These records were known to contain personally identifiable information (PII). Looking at 268 breach incidents at federal and state agencies from January 1, 2012 and May 31, 2012, the average was more than 350k breached records per incident.

The leading causes of government sector data breaches are unintended disclosure, the loss/theft of portable devices, physical loss and hacking. The vast majority of these records (86%) were breached as a result of the loss, theft or discarding of endpoint devices.

Highlights from the report include:

  • 2010 had the highest number of breach incidents (102)
  • 2009 to 2010 saw a 50% increase in the number of data breaches and and increase in the number of exposed records per incident
  • The number of PII records exposed from 2010 to 2011 increased by 169%
  • The number of PII records exposed from 2011 to May 31, 2012 increased by 138%
  • January 1, 2012 - May 31, 2012 saw 31 breach incidents (hacking as primary cause)

As Rapid7 notes, there are a "staggering number of cases involving human error," which is an area where improvement can be made through preventative measures and training. Since human error will always be an issue, endpoint security solutions providers like Absolute can help you track and secure devices and their data they contain. You’re always in control, even if a device is off the network or in the hands of an unauthorized user. Learn more about our solutions for State & Local Government and Federal Government.