Inside TDV - The Data Vault Blog

Data Breaches Increase in Higher Education Sector

Since everyone’s going back to school this week, here’s a back-to-school note worthy of sharing: In 2012, the number of higher education data breaches was the highest since 2006.

In total, there 1,977,412 reported records affected – that’s not a misprint. However, a relatively low number of higher-learning institutions (51) reported breaches. (It’s also only fair to report that these numbers have only been tracked since 2005.)

data breaches in higher education

The dubious distinction of reporting the largest reported data breach in 2012 by a U.S.-based institution of higher learning came from the University of Nebraska, which reported a breach of 654,000 records on May 25 of last year.

Rounding out the 2012 top four (or should it be “bottom four”?) were the University of North Carolina (350,000), Arizona State University (300,000) and Northwest Florida State College (279,000).

The Ponemon Institute’s 2012 “Annual Study: U.S. Cost of a Data Breach” showed that the average overall cost to organizations per compromised record averaged $194; in the education vertical, the average cost was less severe at $142 per record.

As Big Data gets bigger and hackers get smarter, breaches will become more common. This is one more reminder of the importance of employing a solid data management plan in place. And if you’re looking for a secure cloud-based platform for digital data, check out


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