Data breaches up 19% at 6-month mark

By Chad Hemenway on July 3, 2014

Data Breaches up 19% at 6-month markAfter the first six months of 2014, data breaches are up about 19 percent compared to the same time period a year ago.

According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, there have been 381 breaches as of July 1. In 2013 there were 320 at this point of the year.

Nearly 10.9 million records have been exposed.

What the ITRC classifies as the Medical/Healthcare industry leads all others with 175 breaches–about 46 percent of the total.

However, companies categorized under the Business category by far lead all other categories in number of exposed records.

Thus far in 2014, nearly 6.4 million records held by businesses have been exposed by data breaches. This accounts for 58.6 percent of the 6-month total of exposed records.

ITRC compiles its list from media reports, press releases and websites of attorneys general. Not all companies, schools or government entities have reported the number of records exposed.

Noticeably, Texas-based businesses were hit particularly hard by data breaches during the first 6-months of the year. The list includes high-profile breaches at Neiman Marcus, Michaels (and subsidiary Aaron Bros.), Sally Beauty Holdings, Spec’s and Variable Annuity Life Insurance Co.

These breaches accounted for about 5.4 million of the 6.4 million records exposed in the business category. The breach at Michaels and Aaron Bros. exposed the information of 3 million payment cards.

Educational institutions most often publish exposed records, leading to the perception this category possesses the worst severity–about 44,020 record exposed per 25 reported breaches as of July 1. A breach at the University of Maryland exposed about 309,000 records from as far back as 1998.  The database hacked included Social Security numbers and dates of birth for students, faculty and staff-issued university IDs.


ALSO READ: Breach affects up to 3 million cards at Michaels, subsidiary | Michaels joins recent data breach rash; Neiman Marcus tells more | At least 25,000 affected by data breach at Sally Beauty Supply

Chad Hemenway is Managing Editor of Advisen News. He has more than 15 years of journalist experience at a variety of online, daily, and weekly publications. He has covered P&C insurance news since 2007, and he has experience writing about all P&C lines as well as regulation and litigation. Chad won a Jesse H. Neal Award for Best Single Article in 2014 for his coverage of the insurance implications of traumatic brain injuries and Best News Coverage in 2013 for coverage of Superstorm Sandy. Contact Chad at 212.897.4824 or [email protected].