20 Apr 2011

Data loss decreased in 2010, breaches increase

While data loss through cyber attacks decreased in 2010, the number of breaches that occurred were the highest ever, according to a recent report by Verizon.

The amount of compromised records declined from 144 million in 2009 to only 4 million in 2010. The number of data breaches increased last year to 760.

According to the report, 92 percent of data breaches were caused by external sources, 17 percent from implicated insiders and less than 1 percent from business partners. Also, 9 percent of data breaches last year were carried out by multiple parties.

Verizon vice president of security Peter Tippett said the vast majority of breaches can be avoided for companies with relatively inexpensive security measures.

“This year, we witnessed highly automated and prolific external attacks, low and slow attacks, intricate internal fraud rings, countrywide device-tampering schemes, cunning social engineering plots and more,” said Tippett.

Earlier this month, Epsilon revealed that millions of its customers’ email addresses were obtained through a data breach. The company is the largest permission-based email distributor in the world.