Information Security Breaches Visualized

Regardless of news stories and articles, companies and governments continue to suffer from major information breaches. I teach a course on Information Security Risk Management and Legal Issues to Masters students at the New York Institute of Technology, Vancouver Campus. We explore the fundamentals of information security risk management and have no shortage of material to discuss.

I found an excellent site that visualizes information security breaches of over 30,000 records. The site is regularly updated and there is a supporting Google Document with the source data about the breach.  The curators provided some quick insights from their visualization:

Using the filter on the dataviz reveals a few interesting patterns.

  • Academic & financial institutions seems to have tightened their security since the mid 2000 – or become less attractive targets
  • Gaming sites, cumulatively, account for the biggest data breaches
  • Healthcare is truly, truly leaky – a very worrying trend – with over 50% of the breaches coming from stolen or lost computers
  • Accidental publishing seems to be a growing trend – recently with Facebook granting inadvertent access to 6 million records

Here is the data visualization site:

Take a look at the site and you will be able to see breaches visualized by organization and by method of leak.  You can click on the bubbles to get more details about the breach.

by Leo de Sousa