By Dean Goodwin, marketing manager, RPS Technology & Cyber
In a small, one-bedroom flat in the working class city of Kharkiv, in the former Soviet Union, Dmytro Kozel was surfing the Internet for universities and colleges in the U.S. As a young student in the Ukraine, Kozel had more than a passing interest in advanced education but he wasn’t interested in enrolling in online classes; tonight, he wanted to break into the network of a large U.S. state university.
Some recent examples:
- 3.3 million unencrypted bank account numbers and 3.8 million tax returns were stolen in a phishing attack against the South Carolina Department of Revenue
- The California Department of Social Services lost the personally identifiable information (PII) of more than 700,000 residents, including names and Social Security numbers, when a package containing microfiche, sent by the U.S. Postal Service, arrived damaged with most of the data missing
- The health information and PII of more than 780,000 Utah citizens were put at risk when Eastern European hackers broke into a server maintained by the Utah Department of Technology Services this spring.
A Global Perspective
According to the May 2013 benchmark report by the Ponemon Institute, the average total cost of a data breach for a U.S. business was $5,403,644.00. The U.S. experienced the highest total average cost followed by Germany at $4.8 million and then Australia and France at $4.1 and $3.8 million respectively.