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AG Ferguson: Washington State Sees Massive Surge in Reported Data Breaches

  • Washington AG Bob Ferguson released an annual Data Breach Report detailing statistics relating to data breaches, cyberattacks, and ransomware incidents reported to the AG’s office in 2021.
  • The sixth annual Data Breach Report (“Report”) found that reported data breaches nearly quadrupled between 2020 and 2021, to 280 breaches, including a reported “megabreach” that affected more than one million consumers. The Report also noted a sharp increase in the number of cyberattacks and ransomware incidents, and that businesses and agencies sent a record 6.3 million breach notifications to impacted Washingtonians.
  • According to the Report, several factors contributed to the reported spikes in cybercrime, including consumers storing more data online and working from home, cybercriminals targeting large data processors that provide access to data from hundreds of organizations, and a legislative update to Washington’s data breach notice requirements that expanded the types of breaches for which notification is required under the law.