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Cyber insurance is growing in popularity as a means to mitigate the costs and risks associated with a data breach. Given the growing prevalence of data breaches in all industries, companies are seeking help. Industries with large volumes of high-value data—bank accounts and medical records to name a few—are particularly vulnerable to data breaches. Thieves value big data for its profit potential—often reselling it to other thieves or using it for multi-million-dollar healthcare fraud schemes.

InformationWeek recently reported that 419 data breaches were publicly disclosed in 2011 in the U.S., for a total of 22.9 million records exposed, based on a study from the Identity Theft Resource Center. Privacy Rights Clearinghouse reports a larger number; it tracked 535 breaches in 2011 that involved 30.4 million records, including the notorious Sony PlayStation incident. As these varying statistics prove—and as industry experts point out—it’s difficult to accurately pin down the actual number of breaches; many went unnoticed by the media, or weren’t even reported at all.

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