The biggest data breaches of 2015 (infographic)

16 Dec 2015

Another year, another bunch of major security concerns after businesses (and governments) of varying sizes were hit by a succession of serious data breaches.

The Sony hack late last year was a news story on numerous levels. Major breach? Check. Major fallout? Check. Celebrity scandal? Check. It rolled on for months and it was only this year that any real conclusion was drawn from it.

What was beneficial throughout this was the fact that the risks for all businesses were in the papers, on the radio, on the TV and online, consistently. Somewhat depressingly, the same cannot be said of some far bigger breaches this year.

Security company Bromium recently put together a rather telling infographic on the various breaches, and their varying degrees of seriousness, noting that cyber-criminals have moved away from tactics of old.

For example, were you aware of Harvard’s breach, with 20,000 records being compromised? Probably not. 37m records were hacked at Ashley Madison, of which you are aware, but did you know almost 4m were compromised at AdultFriendFinder?

“Just a few years ago, online retailers were the source of most security failures,” said Bromium’s Clinton Karr. “Now, cybercriminals are getting more sophisticated.

“In 2015, cybercriminals have successfully attacked governments, hospitals and insurance companies — the organisations that store our most personal data.”

A recent IBM report on data breaches found a 6pc rise in the cost per stolen record in 2015, this is because it’s no longer credit card details being nicked, it’s social security numbers, blood types, passport numbers etc.

Data breaches are not limited by company size or industry. This list of large data breaches in 2015 shows the spectrum of companies being targeted.

Biggest data breaches in 2015

Filing cabinet image via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic