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Business Observer Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020 1 year ago

Florida nears top of list for number of data breaches

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Florida took the No. 4 spot for number of breaches since 2005.

Yet again, Florida is near the top of a national ranking. But this time, it’s not a good one.

Tech research firm omparitech recently released its 2020 report detailing data breaches by state. According to the report, Florida has had 638 data breaches since 2005 — putting Florida in the No. 4 spot nationally for number of data breaches since 2005. Those breaches affected over 355 million records, the report shows. 

California is at the top of the list with a staggering number of breaches and records impacted — 1,777 breaches and 5.6 billion records. That’s more than half the total number of records impacted in the entire country. Since 2005, there have been more than 12,098 data breaches in the U.S. of more than 11.1 billion records. The report explains California’s high numbers by saying, “It’s perhaps no surprise that California, a huge state and home to more tech and internet companies than any other, suffers the most breaches. California simply has a lot of data to breach.”

Two other large states — New York and Texas — are the other U.S. states to top Florida in terms of number of data breaches. New York had 863 breaches and 296 million records exposed, the report shows. Texas had 819 breaches and 295 million records exposed. Illinois rounded out the top five, with 533 breaches and more than 21 million records exposed.

For Florida, many of the roughly 356 million records exposed can be traced to one source: a 2018 data breach of marketing firm Exactis included 340 million records with names, phone numbers, addresses, email addresses, interests, habits, ages and genders, according to the report. The extent of that breach follows a trend the report points out specifically: “In many cases, a single severe data breach accounts for the vast majority of records exposed in a state over the last decade.”

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