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article imageOp-Ed: 2015 on track to become record-breaking for security breaches

By Sarah Green     Jul 21, 2015 in Technology
While the U.S. waits for the final outcome of the Office of Personnel Management’s massive data breach, the astonishing number of 21.5 million of victims involved sets 2015 on track to break a cyber breach record.
In the aftermath of OPM Director Archuleta's resignation, U.S. citizens are yet again left to question the state of cyber security, as well as the government's attempts to protect their data.
After several turbulent years in cyber security, the latest breach confirms that data protection on the web has remained a serious issue. When compared to the statistics for 2014, 2015 is already on its way to take the throne as the leading year when it comes to online breaches. As earlier suggested by Identity Theft Resource Center, 2014 previously set the record in terms of the volume of information exposed and number of the data breaches across all industries.
In 2015, we’ve already witnessed more than 400 incidents, while the total number of records exposed climbed to 117,576,693 as of July. Similarly, Ponemon Institute reports the average cost for resuscitating stolen records is $9 higher, thus rising the overall cost of a data breach to $3.8 million per breach. These are certainly some alarming figures, especially for businesses and organizations that are most frequently the target for hackers.
In healthcare, criminal attacks remain a leading cause of data breaches, while statistics regarding bank accounts’ violations show an 85 percent jump and are steadily growing among private users. However, the largest portion of all the attacks recorded are targeted to enterprise ecosystem and business institutions with large user databases, where the damage could be devastated.
Among other attacks targeted at enterprise setting, the leading cause of data breaches is still a third party incompetence and unprepared IT personnel, combined with the irresponsible approach of institutions and companies to this problem. According to Securelink, more than 63 percent of the 450 breaches studied were linked to a third party component. Companies, therefore, may face some obvious problems when it comes to choosing security systems, which can only partly be solved by educating CIOs on the importance of implementing stable cyber security systems.
Of course, no system is fully resistant to cyber attacks, especially as they get more and more sophisticated. In some cases, it may take years for the breach to get discovered, which is probably the scariest aspect of this whole trend. Even in the OPM breach, 21.5 million victims are yet to be notified by the government, and we still don’t know to whom the exposed records belong.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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