2015 Data Breaches Surpass 2014 Pace

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The latest account from the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) reports that there has been a total of 750 data breaches recorded through December 15, 2015, and that nearly 178 million records have been exposed. The annual total includes 21.5 million records exposed in the attack on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in June and 78.8 million health care customer records exposed at Anthem in February.

The total number of breaches jumped by 18 incidents from the prior report on December 8, and the year-to-date total of 750 incidents is more than the 749 incidents reported as of the same date last year. Last year’s total of 783 breaches represents a record since ITRC began keeping records in 2005.

Here’s a rundown of the ITRC report for last week:

  • The business sector accounts for over 16 million exposed records in 301 incidents so far in 2015. That represents 40.1% of the incidents and 9.1% of the exposed records.
  • The medical/health care sector posted the second-largest percentage of the total breaches so far this year, 35.2% (264) out of the total of 750. The number of records exposed in these breaches totaled over 121 million, or 68.4% of the total so far in 2015.
  • The number of banking/credit/financial breaches totals 69 (up three from a week ago) for the year to date and involves more than 5 million records, some 9.2% of the total number of breaches and 2.8% of the records exposed.
  • The government/military sector has suffered 59 data breaches so far this year (up one from last week), representing about 19.2% of the total number of records exposed so far this year and 7.9% of the incidents. More than 34 million records have been compromised in the government/military sector to date in 2015.
  • The educational sector has seen 57 data breaches in 2015, up one from a week ago. The sector accounts for 7.6% of all breaches for the year and nearly 760,000 exposed records, about 0.4% of the total so far in 2015.


In all of 2014, ITRC tracked an annual record number of 783 data breaches, up 27.5% compared with 2013. The previous high was 662 breaches in 2010. Since beginning to track data breaches in 2005, ITRC had counted 5,754 breaches through November 30, 2015, involving more than 856 million records. Compared with 2014, the number of data breaches to date in 2015 is up by one (0.1%) from 749 recorded to the same date last year.