Digital Threats: How Data Breaches Are Plaguing Our World

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Nowadays, in what has been coined as “the digital age” data breaches are a dime a dozen. Data loss affects every country across the globe. In fact, in just the first 10 months of 2022, there were over 15 million global data records exposed, leaked, lost, or stolen.

Nearly two thirds of all global data losses have occurred in the United States alone. At almost 65%, it is important to look at state by state data to break down the true loss that we are facing.

Nearly every state in the United States has experienced millions if not billions of records of data loss over time. States like California, Oregon, Maryland, Georgia, and Virginia lead the pack with the most loss recorded. Because of these significant numbers, experts have narrowed down some of the major causes of data loss in an effort to minimize their future impact.

The first reason is due to human error. Many companies or private entities experience accidental deletion, a lack of trained employees, or even simple misclicks that lead to massive consequences. Another reason is the existence and threat of malware. Phishing, spoofing, ransomware, and other scam tactics are common and are quick to fool unsuspecting recipients.

Finally, unexpected events are important to account for when discussing data protection. Hardware failure is common, as are glitches, and even natural disasters that disrupt the flow and storage of important data.

The Industries Most Affected By Data Breaches

On top of these threats to our data, this issue is widespread, affecting not only countries but also many businesses as well. The industries that are currently most affected by data breaches are finance, healthcare, public administration, manufacturing, and transportation.

These industries, as well as several other leaders, experienced over 5,000 confirmed cases of data lost between 2021 and 2022. Customers, employees, and leaders alike are struggling with data security, which has been an issue throughout human history.

An immeasurable amount of data has been destroyed throughout history, whether that be physical or digital. One of the greatest and most significant examples of data destruction was the burning of the Library of Alexandria in 48 BC. The estimated data loss was 571.4 GB, leaving much of our history unknown to today’s experts.

Other examples include the destruction of the Royal Library of Ashurbanipal in 600BC, and the loss of The Maya Religious Codices in 1562 AD. While these losses are not very comparable to today’s widespread data leaking, the common idea remains that data loss is certain. On both a global and historical level, it is more important now than ever before to secure data and ensure that it is protected from whatever threat is coming next.

World's Largest Data Breaches

Infographic source: Next DLP