While the number of data breaches that occurred in 2015 stayed nearly the same as from the year before, the number of personal records compromised in data breaches almost doubled to over 169 million, the highest total since 2009. Some of the largest breaches in 2015 were in the health care industry which often included social security numbers and enough information to commit new account fraud. There were over 5 million records compromised in breaches targeting the banking and financial industry, and hackers continued to target merchants and other organizations for email or user ID and password combinations.
The number of data breaches reported by the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) increased each year from 2011 to 2014, before staying flat in 2015 at 781, just about the same number of data breaches as last year (783). The number of sensitive records compromised, however, which can include Social Security numbers, payment card numbers, email/user name/password combinations or Protected Health Information (PHI), nearly doubled from 85.6 million to 169.1 million.