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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

2012 sees record-breaking number of data breaches

As a recent study revealed, last year saw a record-breaking number of reported data breaches.

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2012 was not a good year for data security. As a recent study from the Open Security Foundation and Risk Based Security revealed, last year saw a record-breaking number of reported data breaches.

The study determined that 2012 saw more than 2,600 reported incidents. This is more than twice the total number of data breaches reported in 2011.

Fortunately, despite the significant uptick in data breaches, the actual number of records exposed in these incidents decreased to 267 million in 2012, down from 412 million in 2011. However, as these numbers suggest, many companies are still seeing tremendous data losses and exposure as the result of breaches. The information revealed in these incidents included names, passwords, email addresses and more. As the report noted, a cybercriminal with access to this information would be able to commit identity theft or fraud.

According to the study, approximately three-fourths of reported incidents originated with external agents or activity, with hacking accounting for the bulk of these occurrences. This, as the report noted, suggests a greater need for data breach analytics tools.

Additionally, firms should consider investing in more robust secure file sharing tools. Every day, employees send and receive millions of emails to and from individuals both inside and outside the organization. Email represents one of the most significant methods of data sharing for companies, and this information ranges from inconsequential to mission-critical. If email file sharing is not secure, a company is at risk of suffering a data breach every time a message is sent or received.

By investing in sophisticated secure file sharing solutions, firms can protect the integrity of email without burdening employees with a time-consuming data protection process.