Data Breaches at Record Highs for 2014

Thus far in 2014, there have been more than 568 data breaches with over 75 million records involved, of which 56 million took place at Home Depot outlets according to new data released by an identity theft Internet research company.

The Home Depot Inc data breach was the largest in the history of retail anywhere in the world. It surpassed the 40 million in the 2013 Target Corp breach during the holidays and the 46.5 million in 2007 at TJX Companies.

Of the more than 568 breaches, 43.5% or 247 were in the healthcare and medical sector, which has 7.14 million personal records taken or over 9.2% of the total.

More than 84% of the total was in the business sector, accounting for 63 million records being breached.

There were breaches at 23 credit, financial and banking establishments involving more than 172,300 customer records, which is just 0.2% of the total records that were hacked.

In all, 62 military and government breaches took place with more than 2.75 million records being hacked or about 3.68% of the total.

There were only 41 breaches in education, but they involved more than 1.536 million breaches of records or approximately 2% of all the breaches.

The recent Home Depot data breach has caused there to be a large number of fraudulent transactions that have taken place across the U.S., with some clients realizing they have had their entire balances of bank accounts emptied.

Apparently, the criminals involved used the stolen data from credit and debit cards to purchases electronic goods, groceries and prepaid cards.

Home Depot says that its data breach of more than five months started back in April of 2014. The company has warned that any customer that used their card in Home Depot stores at any time since April 1 might have had bank personal data hacked. There was a spike in the data breach during this past summer’s peak season, added the retailer.

Although a data breach could ruin the reputation of a retailer they must be transparent, said a security expert.

Concealing anything that happened will likely scare more customers away.

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