AG data breach report: 2021 sets new record for number of data breaches and ransomware attacks

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Attorney General Bob Ferguson released his sixth annual Data Breach Report today. 

In the last year, breached businesses and agencies sent 6.3 million notices to Washingtonians — by far the largest number of notifications sent to Washingtonians since the Attorney General’s Office began tracking this number. 

2018 set the previous record of 3.5 million breach notices sent to Washingtonians.

The report finds that the number of data breaches reported to the Attorney General’s Office also skyrocketed to 280, blowing past the previous record of 78 and last year’s total of 60. In other words, this year’s total represents a 500 percent increase over last year.

Additionally, the report identifies a tremendous spike in cyberattacks and ransomware incidents.

Ransomware — a type of cyberattack in which cybercriminals use malicious code to hold data hostage in hopes of receiving a ransom payment from the data holders — represents a growing and significant threat to consumers and businesses. The Attorney General’s Office recorded 150 ransomware incidents in 2021 — more than the previous five years combined.

The report includes recommendations to policymakers and best practices for the public to protect their data and minimize risks.

The public can access the Attorney General’s database of breaches here.

More information HERE


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