One-Third of Massachusetts Residents Have Data Compromised

As posted in an article in Network World, personal information on about one-third of Massachusetts residents has been compromised. This number comes from the state’s attorney general (AG), Martha Coakley, citing statistics gleaned from the tough data breach reporting law. About 2.1 million of the state’s roughly 6.6 million residents had some form of personal data put at risk in 1,166 reported theft incidents the AG said, according to a report in the Boston Globe.

Coakley was citing numbers gathered from the start of 2010 through August 2011. She said she is reviewing the data to see whether the law, which imposes heavy fines for non-compliance by entities entrusted with this information, is cutting back on breaches that lead to compromises.

The cause? The AG said a combination of hacking, errors by employees, and a growing body of personal data stored electronically by businesses will put that data at more risk over time. The largest breach in the time period the AG is reviewing involved information on about 800,000 people that was lost by a vendor hired to destroy it.

Try the data breach quiz to test your awareness of the problem.

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About MIT
IT Security Awareness Consultant and Communications Specialist at MIT

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