California’s attorney general Kamala Harris released the state’s third data breach report and found an increase in both the number of breaches and size of breaches reported in previous years.
The number of personal records that were compromised is staggering; 178 breaches were reported during 2015 and 24 million personal records were compromised.
In October 2014, the state’s data breach report noted 167 breaches were reported to the attorney general’s office and 18.5 million individuals were affected.
The number of individuals affected by breaches continues to climb, despite an attorney general report in 2013 that 1.4 million California residents affected by breaches in 2012 could have been prevented if companies had encrypted their data.
The 2016 Breach Report warned that organizations have failed to implement the CIS Critical Security Controls, California state cybersecurity guidelines enacted in 2014 that require businesses that collect personal information use “reasonable security practices and procedures.”
In the past four years, from 2012 to 2015, the personal records of 49 million Californians were breached. California’s population is just 38.8 million.
The attorney general, currently running for U.S. Senate in California, is rumored to be on President Obama’s short list of nominees to replace Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, although Harris dismissed those rumors, stating that she is not interested in a nomination.
In September 2015, two separate breaches were announced by a violence prevention organization and an Outback Steakhouse location, affecting 79,000 university students and an unknown number of restaurant customers in California.