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Data Security – Part I Statistics

“Data breach.  We’ve been hacked!”  Two phrases that every IT department dreads hearing.  According to a recent study by IBM Security,  2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created daily.  That is an immense amount of information to protect from hackers, inside thefts, poor security protocols, and stolen or lost media. Data security, therefore, is a critical part of protecting data such as databases, applications or reports across business and personal environments.  How prevalent are security attacks?  Let’s investigate security statistics and who is commonly attacked.

Security by-the-numbers – The Global Security Report by Trustwave sheds light on the widespread and growing number of security breaches worldwide.

  • 71% of security breaches target small businesses – small businesses are usually the least equipped to protect against an attack. Most hackers will prey on the weak.
  • 69% of cyber attacks target retailers and restaurants – due to the large amount of sensitive credit card data that passes through these types of small businesses, they have become a prime target for profit seeking attackers.
  • 28,765 records are stolen on average per data breach – this statistic shows that businesses are storing more sensitive information than they should – more information than is safe.
  • USD40 million – This is the estimated cost in US dollars due to security breaches.

While small businesses are common targets for hackers and cyber criminals, large corporations are not immune to security attacks. For example here are some of the more recent data breaches just this year alone.

  • Anthem, the worlds second largest health insurer reported that the names, dates of birth, social security numbers, member ID’s, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and employment information of 80 million members was compromised.
  • Home Deport reported this year that malware was installed on cash register systems across 2,200 stores that siphoned credit card details of 56 million customers.  It is believed that Russian hackers are responsible.  It is possible that the hackers are the same group that attacked Target, Sally Beauty, and P.F. Changs.
  • Target investigators believe that data was stolen via software installed on computers.  The software was able to gather credit card information each time a credit card was swiped during a purchase.  It is believed that 40 million customers were effected.
  • Ebay, one of the largest online retailers reported one of the largest breaches this year with hackers using stolen credentials to access a database containing all user records.  145 million people were impacted.

Data security is a topic that all companies, large and small need to address.  Check back for tomorrow’s blog where we will continue our discussion of data security protection.



About Mike Sperling

Mike is the Founder and Director of Sperling Interactive. Mike’s keen eye for photography, extensive technology skills and innovative marketing ideas make Mike a leader in the website design and management field. He is proficient in html, css, php, javascript, MySQL and the Adobe Design Suite. Before founding Sperling Interactive, Mike worked his way up from staff photographer at the Eagle Tribune Publishing Company to the lead operator and manager of multiple websites for daily and weekly publications. Known as the “media guru”, Mike gathered years of experience before making the leap to start his own business. He graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology with a BFA in Photojournalism and a minor in Mass Communications. When Mike is not meeting with clients or designing new websites he enjoys spending time with his wife, Jodi, daughter Zoey, and son Camden. Mike enjoys hiking, geocaching, traveling, movies, the Baltimore Orioles & Ravens.