How big of a problem are data breaches here in California? Such breaches are having some pretty big impacts in the state, according to a recent report from the state’s attorney general.

The report regards data breaches between 2012 and 2015. According to the report, over this time period, breaches resulted in the compromising of over 49 million personal information records regarding residents here in California. The number of breaches this compromising occurred through was 657.

What were the most common types of information stolen in these breaches? The most-stolen types were (in no particular order): medical information, payment card data and Social Security numbers. A person can be deeply impacted when this sort of identifying information becomes compromised.

What types of businesses were commonly the targets of such breaches? Companies in the retail sector and financial firms were some of the more common breach targets.

What do you think should be done here in California to try to reduce data breaches?

Data breaches can not only have big impacts on society in general and the individuals whose personal information was compromised, they can also have a major impact on the businesses that were breached. For one, following a data breach, a business could find itself facing litigation, such as litigation from the individuals whose identifying information was compromised.

Thus, it is vital for businesses that have computer-based data to take proper cyber security precautions. Also, when a business does end up suffering a data breach, it can be important for it to have proper legal guidance regarding how to respond to the incident and how to deal with legal disputes arising out of it.

Source: Bloomberg Business, “California Reports 49 Million Records Breached in Four Years,” Joel Rosenblatt, Feb. 16, 2016