A staggering 43 percent of companies have experienced a data breach in the past year, an annual study on data breach preparedness finds.
The report, released Wednesday, was conducted by the Ponemon Institute, which does independent research on privacy, data protection and information security policy. That's up up 10 percent from the year before.
The absolute size of the breaches is increasing, said Michael Bruemmer, vice president of the credit information company Experian's data breach resolution group, which sponsored the report.
"Particularly beginning with last quarter in 2013, and now with all the retail breaches this year, the size had gone exponentially up," Bruemmer said.
He cited one large international breach few Americans have even heard about. In January, 40 percent of South Koreans—a total of 20 million people—had their personal data stolen and credit cards compromised.
The breach was caused by a worker at the Korea Credit Bureau, which provides credit scores to Korean credit card companies.
While shadowy hackers in Eastern Europe often get the blame for these attacks, more than 80 percent of the breaches that Bruemmer's group works with "had a root cause in employee negligence," he said.