This might just be the cost of living in the “Big Data” age.
A new report from the state attorney general’s office claims that data breaches that expose the digital personal records of New Yorkers to potential identity theft and other fraud tripled between 2006 and 2013.
Stats: New York Data Breaches
People Affected: More than 7.3 million New Yorkers in 2013 alone
No. of Personal Records Exposed: 22.8 million from 2006 to 2013
No. of Data Breaches: Nearly 5,000 data breaches from 2006 to 2013; 900 in 2013 alone
Cost to the public and private sectors: As much as $1.37 billion in 2013 alone
Over that period of time, the report issued on Tuesday by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office says some 22.8 million records of New Yorkers were exposed because of hacking attacks, accidental security lapses and insider wrongdoing.
And the cost of such breaches is also increasing as data breaches become more complex, the report’s authors say.
“The overall cost of data security breaches is nothing short of staggering,” they write. “In 2013 alone, breaches are estimated to have cost organizations doing business in New York State over $1.37 billion.”
The report called 2013 a “record-setting year” for data breaches, driven by huge data security incidents at large companies like Target, which was targeted by Russian-based hackers who installed malicious software on the retailer’s credit card processing system. The hackers managed to steal the personal information of over 70 million customers before the data breach was discovered.
While those high-profile data breaches have made national news, the report says data breaches occur with even small family-owned businesses. And, what’s worse, actual number of data breaches may be much higher because of underreporting by companies that fail to disclose record losses.