The number of data breaches tracked in 2014 hit a record high of 783, according to a report from the Identity Theft Resource Center, sponsored by IDT911. This represents a 27.5-percent increase over the number of breaches reported in 2013, and an increase of 18.3 percent over the previous high of 662 breaches tracked in 2010. Since the ITRC began tracking incidents in 2005, there have been more than 5,000 data breach incidents, involving more than 675 million estimated records, the report notes.
The medical and healthcare industry topped this list for the third year running, with 42.5 percent of the breaches identified in 2014. The business sector followed with 33 percent, and the government/military sector took third place with 11.7 percent of the tracked breaches.
In 2014, hacking incidents represented the leading cause for data breach incidents, accounting for 29 percent of the breaches tracked in this report. Subcontractor or third-party breach causes followed at 15.1 percent, and accidental exposure of information jumped to 11.5 percent from 7.5 percent in 2013. Incidents caused by the loss of data storage devices or laptops fell, however, to 7.9 percent.