In One Chart: How the number of data breaches is soaring — in one chart

Here are the numbers behind the recent sharp rise in data breaches.

Another day, another data breach.

It can feel that way, and the chart above shows exactly how the last few years have seen a surge in hacking attacks targeting sensitive information.

The number of significant breaches at U.S. businesses, government agencies, and other organizations topped 1,300 last year, versus fewer than 200 in 2005, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center, a U.S. nonprofit. Jefferies analysts used the center’s figures to create the handy chart, and they put the graphic in a January note to clients.

“It is the opinion of the ITRC that the criminal population is stealing more data from companies, AND data breaches are being more frequently publicized,” the nonprofit says on its website, with more companies revealing breaches due to laws or public pressure.

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