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Phishing/Hacking/Malware No. 1 Cause of Data Breaches

As an unsavory group, phishing, hacking and malware together comprised the number one cause of data security "incidents."

They caused 31% of all breaches, according to the second annual Data Security Incident Response Report from BakerHostetler, which analyzed more than 300 such incidents the law firm helped manage.

Rounding out the top five causes, in order, were employee actions/mistakes (24%), external theft (17%), vendor-related incidents (14%) and internal theft (8%). Just outside the top five, at 6%, was improper records disposal.

The study found that the average time between a breach and detection was in excess of two months (69 days), and in at least one case well more than a year. Almost a quarter (24%) of the breaches resulted in a regulatory inquiry, and litigation was begun in 6% of the cases.

More than half of the breaches (52%) were self-detected.