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Study: 89 Percent of 2011 Data Breaches Involved Customer Information

Eighty-nine percent of data breaches in 2011 involved customer information.

Most enterprises have increased security measures to combat the growing threat of cybercrime, but data breaches still caused a significant amount of damage to organizations last year.

According to Trustwave's 2012 Global Security Report, targeted, malicious cyberattacks accelerated in

Most enterprises have increased security measures to combat the growing threat of cybercrime, but data breaches still caused a significant amount of damage to organizations last year.

According to Trustwave's 2012 Global Security Report, targeted, malicious cyberattacks accelerated in 2011, striking food and beverage companies particularly hard. The study revealed 89 percent of data breaches involved customer information, while trade secrets and intellectual property accounted for only six percent of all data loss incidents. Despite many enterprises acknowledging data protection as a top priority, just 16 percent of breaches were detected by the victimized organization.

"Any organization can be a target, but as detailed in our report findings, those most susceptible are businesses that maintain customer records or that consumers frequent most, including restaurants, retail stores and hotels," said Nicholas Percoco, senior vice president at Trustwave. "We advise organizations review our strategic recommendations for 2012 and take steps toward employing better security across their organizations."

In a recent Forbes report, data security expert Kevin West said data loss could cost the United States economy $290 billion by 2018, unless businesses and government agencies heighten their security efforts with up-to-date technology and applications.