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Cybercrime: There Is No End in Sight

The State of Security

Whoever said “crime doesn’t pay” hasn’t been following the growth of cybercrime across the globe. A thriving underground economy has evolved over the past decade to become a massive industry. Estimates in the Web of Profit research paper show cybercriminal revenues worldwide of at least $1.5 trillion – equal to the GDP of Russia. If cybercrime was a country, it would have the 13th highest GDP in the world…

Which brings me around to a presentation on cybersecurity that I recently shared with colleagues. Up on the screen popped an extraordinary data visualization created by Information is Beautiful that depicts the world’s biggest data breaches over a span of 14 years in an interactive online graphic. Each breach is represented by a circular “bubble” whose diameter varies in relation to the severity of the breach. Clicking on a breach bubble opens additional details about the incident.

When it comes to spotting trends, there’s nothing like having a data-rich timeline for reference, and the ‘Information is Beautiful’ infographic does not disappoint. Scrolling through the years from 2004 through 2010, there are relatively few annual breaches. But in the 2011-2012 timeframe, the visual data dramatically changes as the number of hacks and compromised records spikes.


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