Top Breaches in 2012 So Far

By: Absolute Team | 7/2/2012

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 seem conservative with 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:

  • Zappos breaches 24 million records, hacker
  • University of North Carolina breaches 350,000 records, exposed data
  • Global Payment Systems breaches 7 million records, hacker
  • South Carolina Health and Human Services breaches 228,435 records, insider
  • University of Nebraska breaches 654,000 records, stolen from database
  • LinkedIn breaches 6.5 million records, hacked

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!

Financial Services