Biggest Breaches


Matt Gunn, Managing Editor | TechComply

Headlines describing data breaches, information leaks and hacker attacks on corporate and financial institution networks have become fairly common tropes within the world of technology and business media. But beyond the big names and numbers, one doesn’t always get a sense of scale for how much data is potentially falling into the wrong hands.

Fortunate for us, the team over at Information is Beautiful┬áhas collected all that data in one place and given the world a new interactive feature on the world’s largest data breaches of the past decade (view the full interactive diagram here). Displaying every recorded data breach with losses of more than 30,000 records, the Information is Beautiful project gives a sense of perspective to who is being attacked, when it happened and how their networks were infiltrated. And while a lot of the biggest attacks have fallen on businesses outside of the financial industry, there has often been some impact on individual identities and financial information. And the number of people affected is often in the millions.

As tech blog Gizmodo points out, fewer of the big attacks in recent years have fallen directly upon the networks of financial institutions, whether because banks and credit unions have worked harder to protect their data or that other industries are simply not doing as much to protect themselves. Having seen the banking industry’s network security evolve over the past several years, I tend to agree. The most successful financial institutions are those that take these types of threats seriously and proactively work to solidify and strengthen their networks. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean banks and credit unions are safe. As you can see in the full interactive graphic, more than a few of these breaches have affected vendors that financial institutions regularly rely on. Vendor management is a key component of financial IT compliance, and a subject covered extensively by the Compliance Guru.

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