According to a new report from the Californian Attorney General’s office, data breaches in 2012 exposed personal details of more than 2.5 million residents. This could have been avoided with the implementation of even the most basic security measures.
In 2012, for the first time, companies and government agencies were required by state law to submit copies of their data breach notices. The CAGO found, upon reviewing this data, that in total, there were 131 breaches throughout the year, each affecting more than 500 residents.
The retail industry was hit the hardest, making up 26% of the total reported breaches, followed by finance and insurance, with 23%.
“More than half of these breaches involved social security numbers … they can be sold on the open market and then used to steal identities and gain access to financial accounts,” said Attorney General Kamala Harris in the report.
The CAGO has prioritized investigations of such data breaches, and has encouraged allied law enforcement agencies to do the same.