News in Brief

Data breach costs, open data growth, SpaceX certified and more

Cyberattack, financial services

Cost of data breaches on the rise

The number and cost of data breaches are on the rise, according to a new study from IBM and the Ponemon Institute.

The average cost of a breach rose 23 percent in the past two years -- to $3.79 million. And the average cost paid for each lost or stolen record containing sensitive information rose 6 percent -- from $145 in 2014 to $154 in 2015.

Companies also increasingly risk losing business from customers who are concerned about identity theft, according to the "2015 Cost of Data Breach Study."

It notes that the cost of a data breach varies across industries. A breach in the health care sector is the most expensive, as much as $363, while transportation and the public sector have the lowest cost per lost or stolen record.

The study found that hackers cause the most breaches; they are responsible for 47 percent.

However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The study, which surveyed 350 companies in 11 countries, concluded that companies are taking more steps to bolster cybersecurity, such as increased executive involvement and cyber insurance.

Open-data platform celebrates birthday

The federal government's open-data platform is now a fast-growing first-grader that is tens of thousands of datasets stronger than when it was launched in May 2009.

A sixth anniversary blog post says Data.gov started with 47 datasets and now has more than 130,000 from across the country, including data from 83 federal agencies and sub-agencies.

Furthermore, the site has added more than 50,000 datasets since President Barack Obama's 2013 executive order aimed at making federal data open and machine-readable by default.

Data.gov's annual page views have more than doubled in the past two years and are now at 8.5 million.

Air Force certifies SpaceX for satellite launches

After a sometimes contentious year of tests, negotiations and a lawsuit, Air Force officials ultimately saw no reason to delay certifying Space Exploration Technologies Corp. to compete for launches of national security space missions, Defense Systems reports.

The service was expected to certify SpaceX to compete with the United Launch Alliance sometime in June. Instead, the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center announced May 26 that the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket has been certified to launch some military satellites.

The first competition could come as early as June.

Border Patrol corrals runaway surveillance tech

Border Patrol officials successfully redeployed a runaway aerostat after the surveillance aircraft briefly broke free of its moorings in Texas.

In a May 27 statement, the Border Patrol said the surveillance balloon had gotten loose from its dock near Penitas, Texas, in the agency's Rio Grande Valley Sector and "drifted free for several minutes before landing in a field in nearby La Joya."

Border agencies have been turning to aerostat technology, which has been used in Afghanistan, to help watch U.S. border areas. The devices can carry sophisticated surveillance technology, including infrared cameras and long-range sensors.

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