Last year, Equifax became the victim of one of the most high profile hacks in history, with 143m records stolen, equating to an estimated $20.1bn (£15bn) worth of data lost. While there have previously been attacks where more records were compromised, such as Yahoo’s 1bn back in December 2016, the Equifax breach was notable because the data stolen included Social Security numbers and personal identification details.
We’re living in a time when hundreds of entities around the world have access to our personal information – from identification to financial details – and all of those records are at risk of falling into the wrong hands. Hackers are growing more sophisticated and data breaches are becoming more prevalent and higher profile. Governments, businesses and even the entertainment industry aren’t safe from hacks, leaks and shadier dealings. A market has developed, where the currency is your information.
We have looked over the last 13 years of prominent data breaches and collated the information in a new, interactive tool called Breach the World. Using this, you can explore the most-hacked entities, the number of records lost and the countries that have been worst affected.
We wanted to shine a spotlight on just how much of an impact data breaches have on us, and to visualise the scope of this problem. We’re seeing massive entities like Sony and Verizon getting hit by cybercriminals – conglomerates that have access to our passwords, names, addresses and much more. It’s absolutely vital that, going into 2018, businesses are making cybersecurity a key focus to ensure consumers are kept safe.