It's hardly surprising to hear that a new study claims that data breaches are on the rise, with the number of incidents picking up steam in 2008. Sadly, news of "the biggest ever data leak" seems to have become a regular occurrence, and is seen just as part of the normal course of business these days. Part of the problem is that the penalties companies pay for the leaks don't ever amount to much, what with toothless punishment from regulatory bodies and relatively small fines. Most companies just offer some free credit-report monitoring to those affected, maybe have a "special" sale, and move on. While other studies say the cost of breaches is rising, it's still low enough that, apparently, it's an acceptable cost of business, and makes the cost of better prevention unappealing. Still, this isn't wholly a technical problem: human error remains an enormous threat, with "insider negligence" blamed in one study for 88 percent of data breaches.
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