More companies are falling victim to data breaches than ever before. In fact, almost a billion data records were either stolen or lost last year.

The shocking information on last year’s data breaches comes from online security firm Gemalto’s Breach Level Index (BLI), which examines data breaches and then compiles them into a data base. Each breach gets scored on its severity, and is then compared to other publicly disclosed breaches.

“The main motivation for cybercriminals in 2014 was identity theft with 54% of the all data breaches being identity theft-based, more than any breach category including access to financial data. In addition, identity theft breaches also accounted for one-third of the most severe data breaches categorized by the BLI as either Catastrophic (with a BLI score of between 9.0 and 10) or Severe (7.0 to 8.9),” Gemalto said in a press statement.

Have a look at the interesting infographic below to see just how severe the breaches are:

Gemalto
[Image – Gemalto]
Out of interest, the worst breaches of last year was Home Depot (109 million records breached), JPMorgan Chase (83 million records breached) and eBay (145 million records breached).

[Source – Gemalto, Image – CC by 2.0/Alexandre Dulaunoy]
Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.