The top data breaches – great interactive tool

I stumbled across this interactive graphic by big data company “Information is Beautiful” about data breaches globally, which I found extremely interesting and I am sure you would too.

The IIB have tracked the top data breaches since 2005 and have drawn up a detailed table of prominent data breaches, listing each of the most significant and publicised data breaches by year, method of breach, size of the breach and sensitivity of the data.  The beauty of this information is that each of the breaches have a supporting article providing further details as it was reported in the press.  

The usual suspects are listed there, i.e. Target, Adobe, Neiman Marcus etc, and even the NHS.  It gives a quick summary of the ‘story’, i.e. in the case of the NHS, the story that is revealed mentions the following:

A laptop holding the unencrypted records of eight million patients went missing from an NHS store room and wasn’t reported until 3 weeks later.  It reveals that 8.3 million records were lost in this instance, and under ‘data sensitivity’, it indicates a score out of a top score of 5 (being the most sensitive, which reveals banking details).  In the case of the NHS, it was a ‘level 4’ breach, which means that email address, password and health records were revealed. 

I’m pleased to see that not only American companies are being listed, with the Norwegian Tax Authority being listed, the Puerto Rico Department of Health and the South African Police Services, in addition to the NHS and several other non-US-based organisations.

Of course, the data is based on high profile cases that do get reported, and we all know that many data breaches are never reported or are discovered much, much later – often by a third party rather than the company itself.  

So all in all, this is a pretty amazing tool, however the best is yet to come!

The people at Information is Beautiful have visualised this data in an interactive graphic that is mind blowing.  Take a look at the incredible graphic right here.

If only all data breaches were being reported and listed, one would hope that there would be increased vigilance about data security on a global scale.  


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