With 2012 half over, it's time to reflect on the state of data security and to see if there are any trends to learn from. Based upon the known and reported data breaches in 2012, there have been at least 272 breaches in 2012 affecting at least 18.5 Million records (many breaches affect an unknown number of records). Those figures from privacyrights.org seem conservative with datalossdb.org reporting much higher figures: 704 breaches for 2012 thus far.
If you compare these figures to the breach tallies for 2011, you can see that the number of breaches has been steadily rising for the year. Based on the dataloss.db figures, the number of breaches so far for 2012 (704) nearly reaches the yearly total for 2009 and 2010 (718 and 802) and looks like it will exceed the 2011 total (1037) if the pace of breaches continues.
The largest breaches for 2012 include:
If you work in healthcare, you can also see the top 10 breaches affecting your industry here.
What can we learn from this information? As Dark Reading notes, each breach incident offers valuable lessons both in what not to do as well as what to do. Zappos, for example, had a clear incident response plan and many of their security measures were quite advanced already.
Though the trends for 2012 are quite troubling, hopefully it will provide some impetus to improve security precautions for some companies out there!