As of October 2011, there have now been more than 1 billion records exposed, according to research by the Open Security Foundation.

Risk Based Security's 3rd Quarter Data Breach Intelligence report shows that nearly 50 percent of the reported data breaches in 2011 involved retail businesses, and those breaches accounted for nearly 25 percent of the total records exposed so far in 2011. Organizations providing medical related services accounted for nearly 31 percent of the data breaches reported in the first nine months of 2011. This same sector represented 29 percent of the reported 2010 breaches.

The Data Breach Intelligence report also revealed that a hack or computer-based intrusion was responsible for 25 percent of the 2011 breaches, totaling 147,496,666 records. This represents nearly 84 percent of the total number of exposed records in 2011. Although stolen laptops remains the number one breach type all-time, the hack breach type has replaced stolen laptop at number one for the past two years.

The company says that the research suggests that organizations in all industries need to take note of the fact that they face a very real threat from security breaches. Whether it is the constantly increasing security threats, ever-evolving IT technologies or limited security resources, data breaches and the costs related to response are escalating quickly. Organizations need more timely and accurate analytics in order to better prioritize security spending based on their unique risks, it suggests.