NEW YORK (5/29/14)--The personal information of 110 million U.S. citizens, or almost half of the nation's adult population, has been exposed by hackers sometime in the last 12 months, researchers have found (CNNMoney.com May 28).
Perhaps even more eye-opening, Ponemon Institute, the organization that compiled the data for CNNMoney, discovered that 432 million individual accounts have been compromised during that time.
"It's becoming more acute," Larry Ponemon, head of the Ponemon Institute, told CNNMoney.com. "If you're not a data breach victim, you're not paying attention."
Each compromised record often includes personal information such as names, debit or credit card numbers, emails, birthdays and passwords.
Breaches have become so common that researchers say consumers are beginning to experience "data-breach fatigue."
To illustrate that point, CNNMoney compiled a list of the most notable breaches in recent months:
While exposures at these retailers have grabbed headlines, what might be even more alarming is that healthcare and pharmaceutical companies rate even worse than retailers in terms of security performance, according to recent analysis performed by BitSight Technologies (Businessweek.com May 28).
"To see (healthcare companies score) below retail--having seen what we've witnessed in retail over the last six to nine months--we thought it was pretty sobering," Stephen Boyer, BitSight chief technology officer, told Businessweek. "They're failing to do even some of the basic level protections."