The number of compromised data records in computer security breaches declined last year as thieves shifted their sights to smaller, non-financial businesses, according to a report by Verizon Communications Inc.
The research, conducted with the U.S. Secret Service and the Dutch National High Tech Crime unit, analyzed 761 security breaches and found four million accessed data records. That compares with 144 million compromised data records stemming from 141 examined data breaches in 2009.
The report showed a higher proportion of breaches affecting hotels, restaurants and retailers, with the highest number at enterprises employing 100 workers or less.
The report, which mostly captured security breaches in the U.S. and in Europe, showed the highest incidence of records compromised in 2008, when 361 million pieces of data were compromised. Verizon, the second-largest U.S. phone company, used data captured by security services that it provides to third parties.