As of late, data breaches at businesses, governmental entities and others that are repositories for confidential information have occurred almost quotidian. For example, in late March the California Department of Motor Vehicles disclosed that it was investigating a theft of credit card numbers from the payment component of its website. In the same vein, a public university in Maryland revealed in the same week that an attack to its computer network resulted in potential loss of personal information. In fact, this was the second such attack at this university since late February of this year. In another well-publicized breach, as many as 40 million customers had credit and debit card numbers released as a result of a malware attack. It was later disclosed by the same company that 70 million more customers had their personal information stolen in the same attack.

These incidents are hardly isolated. According to an industry report, in 2013 more than 47,000 security incidents occurred, with 621 of them classified as “certified data breaches.” Of the breaches, 75 percent exposed insufficient security procedures and 29 percent arose as a result of contact via social tactics, tactics which include using email, phone and social media communications to elicit confidential information. At this point, data breaches are so commonplace that they have crossed the Rubicon into popular culture. Case in point: In March of 2014 it was revealed that a major studio had optioned the rights to the story of the blogger who broke a well-known data breach incident.

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