The following chart is a summary of data breach information available on privacyrights.org of approximately 3,700 data breaches that have become publicly known, affecting in excess of 600,000,000 records of personal information, such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, and other sensitive information.
This chart illustrates the number of private records lost by year, starting in 2005. The two most common ways that data is lost are either as a result of a portable device (PORT) that is lost or stolen (the orange bar), or direct hacking/malware (HACK) (the green bar). The reader will note that there was a spike in lost records in 2009. A major contributing factor to this loss was a single hacking incident involving Heartland Payment Systems involving in excess of 130,000,000 records, combined with a loss by the Veterans Administration of 76,000,000 records that same year.
In terms of the major business industry categories, the industry sector with the largest data losses over time (2005-2013) is the financial and insurance industry (BSF), followed by retail (BSR) and government (GOV) (the latter being most impacted by losses at the Veterans Administration among government agencies).