Report released shows rise in New York State data breaches

July 19, 2014

Data breaches are growing substantially in New York State, becoming more complex, costly and representing a dangerous threat to individuals and businesses.

Attorney General of New York State Eric T. Schneiderman issued a report on 15 July outlining changing data breaches over recent years, and the resulting risks. Over eight years of security breach data was analysed for the purposes of the report.

The number of breaches recorded in New York tripled between 2006 and 2013, with 22.8 million personal records being exposed within the same period. This was across a staggering 5,000 data breaches, costing both the public and private sectors around US$1.37 billion during the last year alone.

The past year also set a new record for attacks, as 7.3 million records of New Yorkers were breached. The majority came as a result of the Target and Living Social attacks.

The leading cause of data breaches was found to be when unauthorised third parties gained access to computer systems – whether in use by the public or private sectors. This type of breach accounted for 40 per cent of all leaks.

"As we increasingly share our personal information with stores, restaurants, health care providers and other organisations, we should be able to enjoy the benefits of new technology without putting ourselves at risk," said Attorney General Schneiderman.

"Unfortunately, our expansive look at data breaches found that millions of New Yorkers have been exposed without their knowledge or consent."

These statistics only serve to underscore the necessity of taking appropriate security action, especially considering both the number and severity of attacks continues to rise.

Often, the best action for businesses is by way of preventative penetration testing and security audits. These measures ensure data security before an attack occurs, and if undertaken on a regular basis can ensure consistent security.

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