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85% report personal data breach

Associated Press

Losses of confidential customer data like the one reported earlier this year by the T.J. Maxx and Marshall’s retail chains may be more commonplace than thought.

About 85 percent of privacy and security professionals for companies in North America acknowledged having at least one reportable loss or exposure of personal information during the last 12 months, according to a recent survey. Of those, 63 percent said they have had multiple data breaches in the same period.

"Data loss and theft is a pervasive problem in all organizations, including governmental," said Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute, which conducted the survey with Deloitte & Touche LLP.

It is hard to say whether the data breach rate has increased, because companies have only been recently been required by law to detect or disclose lost data, Ponemon said.

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"Companies are collecting information in more remote places, creating the perfect storm for data breaches," he said. "We definitely see that this is not a decreasing trend."

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