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There’s a good reason why 2011 is known among security professionals as the Year of the Data Breach.

The antics began in April, with a bold, high-profile data raid on Sony’s Playstation Network database—and ended with hackers scamming credit-card details, passwords and home addresses from the systems of intelligence-analysis firm Stratfor in December.

In between were breaches at the IMF, Citigroup, Lockheed Martin and several others. Health-care data breaches alone were up 32 percent over 2010, says the Ponemon Institute. The diversity in the types of businesses targeted in the past year by online criminals shows that not a single sector of business is truly safe.

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