Volume 9, 2021: Issue 1

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An examination of historic data breach incidents: What cybersecurity big data visualization and analytics can tell us?


Emily Africk, USA

Yair Levy, Nova Southeastern University, USA


Data breach incidents are reported in the media to be on the rise with continuously increasing numbers. Additionally, data breaches serve a major negative impact to organizations. This study focuses on combining experience in data analytics, visualization, and quantitative analysis for business intelligence in the context of cybersecurity big-data over a period of 15-years. A large data set containing 9,015 data breaches was provided via the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse data breach database from the start of 2005 to the end of 2019. The aim of this work was to slice the data as well as represent it into a business-related visualization using time-series analysis that can help executives understand complex cybersecurity breaches, their impact, and their trend over time. We have created visualization figures along with explanations of what each visualization means in the context of cyber-attacks over time. This project was set to serve as a breakdown of the important findings from the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse data breach database of over 15-years. These findings are communicated through both key numbers and quantitative analyses for business intelligence. While our project does not cover every aspect of the dataset (due to its significant size), it serves more as a focus on one particular part of the data: incident types and their volume over the 15-year timeframe to help business executives visualize cybersecurity trends. This paper ends with a conclusion and discussion on how such cybersecurity visualizations can help industries along with future research needed.


Cybersecurity data analytics, data breach incidents, visualizations of data breaches, cybersecurity big data, time-series analysis of data breaches




Research paper


The Online Journal of Applied Knowledge Management (OJAKM), ISSN: 2325-4688


International Institute for Applied Knowledge Management (IIAKM)


26 February 2021


7 May 2021; 8 June 2021


24 July 2021

Accepting Editor:

Meir Russ