WASHINGTON (2/13/15)--Nearly 1 billion pieces of personal information were compromised in 2014 as a result of data breaches, with the retail industry allowing the highest number of incidents, according to a report from digital security firm Gemalto, based out of the Netherlands (The Wall Street Journal Feb. 12).
Breaches climbed by 49% overall in 2014 with 1,500 attacks, while the number of individual data records that were compromised jumped 78%, the report found.
The majority of breaches (55%) occurred at merchant stores, up from 29% in 2013, with an increase seen in the number of attacks on point-of-sale systems as well.
CUNA continues to urge lawmakers to pass legislation that would require merchants to adhere to the same strict payment data security standards that financial institutions must meet.
While breaches often take place at merchant stores, credit unions and other financial institutions often are on the hook for the costs associated with rectifying a consumer's financial situation.
A CUNA survey found that the Home Depot breach alone cost credit unions $57.4 million in breach-related costs.
The Gemalto report also found that identity theft was the most common type of attack, as 54% of the breaches involved the theft of personal data, a 23% jump from 2013.
And because only 4% of the breaches involved encrypted data, it could mean that encrypted data is more secure, or that many companies and organizations have yet to implement encryption technology (The Wall Street Journal).
The recent Anthem security breach, where more than 80 million Social Security numbers were compromised, involved unencrypted data.