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InformationWeek: After analyzing 419 publicly disclosed U.S. data breaches in 2011, the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) determined that the most common cause of data loss was hack attacks, which were cited 26 percent of the time. Data lost in transit accounted for 18 percent of breaches, and insider theft accounted for 13 percent of incidents. In all, at least 22.9 million records containing sensitive or personal information were exposed during the year.
Breaking the information down by sector, the government and armed services had the highest number of data breach incidents (44 percent), followed by non-financial businesses (33 percent), medical and healthcare groups (16 percent), educational institutions (4 percent), and banking, credit and financial firms (3 percent).