The Story Behind the World’s Data Breaches

Data breaches are a significant problem, resulting in lost knowledge and personal data.  In fact, in the span of ten months in 2022, 15+ million global data records have been lost, stolen, or leaked.  

The United States sees the largest number of data loss, with 6.2 billion records lost or stolen between 2013 and 2022.  This makes up 64% of global data loss.  Within the US, there is variation between states when it comes to the number of records lost.  California, Oregon, and Maryland see the most data loss. 

In the US, the main causes are human error, malware, and unexpected events.  Human error can include accidental deletion, lack of training, or misclicks.  Malware encompasses phishing, spoofing, and ransomware.  Finally, unexpected events refer to hardware failure, software glitches, and natural disasters. 

Within countries, data loss impacts certain industries in different ways.  The most-affected industries tend to be finance, healthcare, public administration, and transportation.  Data leaks within industries can lead to privacy leaks and lost clientele. 

While many data leaks today are connected to modern technology, data loss has been an aspect of human society for centuries.  For example, the burning of the Library of Alexandria resulted in an estimated data loss of 571.4 GB.  Data loss has been a fact of life, and will continue to be so, which is why it is so important to familiarize yourself with its risks and protect yourself against them.

The World's Largest Data Breaches