Visualizing the Largest Data Breaches

By: Arieanna Schweber | 1/21/2015

Information is Beautiful has been maintaining a visual representation of the World’s Largest Data Breaches, created in such a way that you can manipulate the visual by type of organization, method of leak, sensitivity of data, and year. You can instantly see changes to the visualization based on your desired filters. Given the level of data breach fatigue inherent in the number of data breaches each year and their media coverage, this tool can help you gain some different insight from the data available on data breaches.

The above image shows data breaches clustered by method of leak and data sensitivity, with the green bubbles indicating lost/stolen computers. The pink bubbles represent companies that have been hacked, which dominate the largest number of breaches shown; purple is inside jobs, dark red is poor security. Each bubble can be clicked on for a short summary as well as a link to further reading.

Interestingly, if you then toggle to data sensitivity as a measure, instead of number of records stolen, the bubbles for lost/stolen devices get larger in almost all instances. This seems to suggest is that mobile devices (laptops, tablets, mobile devices) are more likely to contain very sensitive information. This seems to hold true year after year. When you toggle to look at healthcare, it becomes apparent that lost / stolen devices and lost / stolen media dominate, as we’ve seen with previous analysis of healthcare data breaches.

While the service only visualizes data breaches over 30,000, it can offer some interesting insights to aid in security planning.

We’ve previously discussed how 2014 was a record-setting year for data breaches. With the cost of data breaches on the rise, organizations need to pay particular attention to the protection of corporate data, no matter where it resides. Unlike encryption and other traditional data protection solutions, Absolute Software provides a range of capabilities to help you create a layered approach to securing your endpoints, one of the most risky points in corporate data security. Learn more about Absolute Data & Device Security (DDS).

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