Data breaches are a continual problem across the world and within various industries. When data is lost or stolen, privacy is threatened and knowledge slips away. It is important to understand data breaches and develop strategies to combat them.
Although every country has experienced data breaches, certain countries experience more attacks than others. Some of the top victims across various continents include the United States, India, China, the United Kingdom, and South Africa. The United States experiences the most data breaches by far, with over six billion data records registered as lost or stolen over the course of seven years (2013-2020). India and China take second and third place, each with over 350 million lost data records over the same time period.
Certain states are also hit harder than others within the United States. California takes the brunt of the loss, followed by Oregon, Maryland, and Georgia. Data breaches happen for different reasons. Sometimes, they are due to human error, whether that be a lack of training, incorrect clicking, or accidental deletion. They can also occur because of malware or unexpected events like natural disasters or software malfunctions.
Countries are not the only entities that struggle with data breaches. Retailers are often also hit hard. In fact, 45% of retailers have reported that attacks against their data have grown in size, scope, and severity. Data breaches can impact vital industries such as healthcare, resulting in patients’ medical information reaching third parties.
This very situation occurred in the United States when an employee at Anthem Health Insurance caused a data breach by forwarding 18,500 customers’ records to a third party. This is one instance with severe implications, and the issue grows due to the sheer number of attacks that happen every year.
Other notable entities that have suffered major data breaches include Toyota, British Airways, and governments. Data breaches are not selective in their targets; everyone is vulnerable. This is true across time as well. It is a common misconception that data breaches are a product of our current technological age; however, experts say that we have lost more than 35,000 GB of information throughout history. Data loss is a certainty, and has been a facet of life for centuries.
With this in mind, it is critical that we take the appropriate steps in protecting ourselves from data breaches. This may include education or working with security companies. Take the time to learn about cybersecurity, and it may help retain and protect important knowledge for years to come.