2020 Montana Cybersecurity Report

Date Published
Jan 27, 2021 12:43:14 PM
Reading Time
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Montana Cybersecurity

The 2020 Montana Cybersecurity Report is here and jam packed with more information than ever before. "Montana statutes governing data breaches require businesses to notify affected consumers if the consumer’s personal information is compromised. Montana law (MCA 30-14-1704(8)) (effective October 1, 2015) requires the business to send a copy of the consumer notification to the Office of Consumer Protection (OCP)." A listing with all reported data breaches in Montana can be found by clicking here.

Every year Pine Cove Consulting analyzes this information and compiles it into our Montana Cybersecurity Report. On a high level, this report outlines the state of cybersecurity in Montana by sharing the number of organizations affected by a data breach, the number of Montanans that are affected by a data breach, and the average length of a data breach. We also identify themes in the data and share tips on how to secure your organization. 

In 2020, we saw a record number of organizations fall victim to cyber-attacks that affected 82,000+ Montanans. We aren't able to identify what information was compromised in these attacks but we can confirm that several data breaches, including 2020's largest data breach affecting 32,000+ Montanans,  leaked bank account information and social security numbers.

Montana Cybersecurity

“Some Montana organizations assume that they aren’t as susceptible to cyber-attacks because Montana is rural. This is not true,” said Brandon Vancleeve, Pine Cove Consulting president. “In fact, according to 2018 U.S. Census data there are just over one million residents in the state of Montana. The data gathered from the MTDOJ show that, over the course of the last six years, 899,058 Montanans have been affected by a cyber-breach. Assuming each one of these individuals is unique, that would mean that 89.4% of all Montanans have fallen victim to a data breach in the last six years. We wanted to share our findings to raise awareness for both consumers and businesses to be aware of the cyber-risks and take the necessary precautions to protect yourself.”

We don't publish this report to scare businesses or push product. We want Montana organizations to understand that the threat is real and security measures are necessary. This report aims to serve as a piece of educational content to aid technology leaders in protecting their precious data. 

Included in this report is a look ahead to 2021 and the major security threats we expect to see in the upcoming year. We also share our top three recommendations for security measures in 2021.

As for this blog post, here are our suggested action items for you:

  1. Read the report! This report contains 13 pages of information directly related to cybersecurity in Montana. You will not find another Montana cybersecurity report anywhere. All the data presented in this report is specific to Montana and will aid IT and business leaders in crafting a security posture to protect them from the threats.

  2. Share the report! It is clear that data breaches are a problem in Montana. Sharing this report will raise awareness of the threats and hopefully create a better dialog that can decrease the numbers are we currently seeing. 
  3. Act! This information can only lead to change if you act on it! The threats are real and don't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. It is typically much more expensive and damaging to recover from a cyber-attack than it is to protect your organization in the first place.

Click the button below to download the report today!

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