Data Breach Risk Still Top for Financial Services

Data breaches continue to occur within all types of organizations, some more than others, according to a just-released report from Verizon Business and the U.S. Secret Service.

The 2010 Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report found that financial services, hospitality and retail still comprise the “big three† of industries affected (33 percent, 23 percent and 15 percent respectively) by data breaches.

A growing percentage of cases and an astounding 94 percent of all compromised records in 2009 were attributable to financial services, the report revealed.

For companies trying to manage this risk, the good news is that the overall number of data breaches declined in 2009.

According to the report, some 143 million records were compromised in breaches investigated in 2009, a 50 percent drop from over 360 million compromised records in 2008.

As was the case in the previous year, most of the losses in 2009 came from only a few breaches. The average number of records lost per breach was 1,381,183, the median a scant 1,082, according to the report.

Payment card data was still the most commonly breached data type, but accounted for 54 percent of cases in 2009, down from 81 percent of cases in 2008. Personal information and bank account data were the second and third-most compromised data types.

The study also found that data breaches last year involved more insider threats, greater use of social engineering and the continued strong involvement of organized criminal groups.

Organized criminal groups were responsible for 85 percent of all stolen data last year, the report said.

The findings underscore the potentially enormous liability facing businesses when a data breach occurs. Specialized cyber risk coverage is a key purchase to help businesses manage this risk.

One thought on “Data Breach Risk Still Top for Financial Services”

  1. It makes me really happy that we are able to offer identity fraud coverage to our clients. In some cases we can even offer it as a free endorsement on their policy.

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