South Carolina’s consumer watchdog agency on Wednesday released its annual recent Security Breach Report, outlining data from breaches that involved state residents from January 2011-December 2015. During that period there 162 security breach affecting more than 7.6 million South Carolina consumers.
That’s nearly 60 percent higher than the state’s actual population of more than 4.8 million people.
Department of Consumer Affairs (SCDCA) spokeswoman Juliana Harris told South Carolina Radio Network that more than one breach can happen to an individual. “So the reason that the number is greater than that of the actual population of South Carolina is because some people received more than one notice,” Harris said.
While the government sector reported the fewest overall number of breaches in the last five years, it accounts for the most individual people affected. “In 2012, the (South Carolina) Department of Revenue experienced a security breach, basically the whole state. So that was over 5 million people,” said Harris.
Roughly 3.9 million taxpayers and 1.9 million dependents had their information accessed by the hacker, who was able to log in to database through an employee’s computer infected with malware.
A total of 39 breaches were reported in the retail and food service sectors, representing the most breaches reported by any industry.
The healthcare sector reported the most individual people affected by breaches in years 2011, 2014 and 2015.
To view the report visit the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affair’s website. For tips on defending against identity theft or assistance in mitigating an identity theft event, contact SCDCA’s Identity Theft Unit at 800-922-1594 or visit SCDCA’s website.