In 2013, multiple companies were hit with data breaches that eroded consumer trust. Target’s well known hit, in which sensitive data for 70 million consumers was taken from the store’s website, cost them dearly during the holiday shopping season.
According to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, it’s not just big companies getting hit — it’s everyone. A new report details how, over the past few years, security breaches have cost the state an estimated $1.37 billion through both the public and private sectors.
Not only were the breaches costly, but the number of breaches increased threefold between 2006 and 2013. During that time period, there were over 5,000 security breaches, and almost 23 million personal records were placed at risk as a result.
Some of the numbers are the result of well-publicized breaches, such as Target, Apple and LivingSocial. Many, though, are less-well known breaches that have targeted companies both large and small. Schneiderman believes that consumers and businesses alike should be able to communicate without the fear of interfering hackers.
“As we increasingly share our personal information with stores, restaurants, health care providers and other organizations, we should be able to enjoy the benefits of new technology without putting ourselves at risk,” he was quoted as saying in Tech Times. He calls for a collaboration between “industry and security experts” in order to ensure that every organization has the necessary tools to combat cyber crime.
Hopefully, companies will take heed to the warning this data provides and use it as an opportunity to invest in better security options.
“Data breaches have the potential to instantly ruin an organization’s image and reputation that has taken years or even decades to build. In addition to the obvious moral obligation that organizations have to protect users and customers, organizations need to view data breaches from a strategic perspective to insure they are also protecting shareholder value.” said Bob Goodrich, VP Sales and Marketing at JSCAPE.