Jan 4, 2023   |   Fergal Glynn

The World's Largest Data Breaches (Infographic)

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The World's Largest Data Breaches

Data breaches can happen to anyone, anywhere at any time. But where do data breaches tend to occur the most?

At Next DLP, we've done the research and created a visualized breakdown of the world's largest data breaches by country and by state, throughout the United States and throughout human history.

Learn more about the causes of data loss, industries most impacted, and information destroyed through antiquity in the visual narrative below.

total data records lost or stolen in the world's largest data breaches


Data Losses by State

It's startling to know that 64% of all data losses occur in the United States. And in 2022 alone, more than 15 million data records were stolen (through November).

When it comes to data breaches the US specifically, here are a list of top 5 data losses for each state (in order or magnitude):

  1. California
  2. Oregon
  3. Maryland
  4. Georgia
  5. Virginia

Here's a complete list of data losses for each state.

largest data losses by state


Major Causes of Data Loss

What are the primary causes of data loss? Human error is the single biggest culprit when it comes to data loss, from human error to inexperience.

The other two major causes are malware attacks and other unexpected events.

the major causes of data loss


Industries Most Affected by Data Breaches

From 2021 to 2022, a record 5,212 global businesses experienced confirmed data loss.

Which industries have been impacted the most by data breaches?

They range from financial services to healthcare, with hackers and spammers actively targeting the transportation industry as well.

industries most affected in the world by data breaches


Data Loss Throughout History

When it comes to human history, it's impossible to quantify how much data has been lost throughout our past. 

But we've done extensive research and pulled together some of the largest data losses ever to impact the world.

biggest data losses in history


In conclusion, data loss is a global and historical certainty. The key is to make sure you’re protected with an airtight data loss prevention solution.

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Full Transcript of The World's Biggest Data Losses

As of 2022, 15+ million global data records have been exposed, leaked, or lost

Data Loss Affects Every Country

  • Total data records lost by continent from 2013 to 2020
    • North America
      • United States: 6,219,819,956
      • Canada: 91,830,959
      • Mexico: 98,252,295
    • South America
      • Brazil: 285,373
      • Chile: 308,189
    • Europe
      • United Kingdom: 140,139,193
      • France: 100,099,535
      • Netherlands: 1,927,479
    • Asia
      • China: 350,752,955
      • Japan: 114,769,575
      • India: 394,307,531
    • Africa
      • South Africa: 106,654,166
      • Kenya: 134,000
    • Australia
      • Australia: 50,342,722
      • New Zealand: 1,686,928

Nearly two thirds (64%) of all global data losses have occurred in the United States:

https://www.statista.com/statistics/1307426/number-of-data-breaches-worldwide

https://www.varonis.com/blog/the-world-in-data-breaches



Data Losses By US State

Alabama - 5,759,952 records
Alaska - 2,255,560 records
Arizona - 10,905,610 records
Arkansas - 1,568,464 records
California - 5,604,164,335 records
Colorado - 7,372,814 records
Connecticut - 7,511,586 records
Delaware  - 636,171 records
Wyoming - 103,063 records
Florida - 355,660,019 records
Georgia - 355,331,875 records
Hawaii - 682,982 records
Idaho - 1,286,990 records
Illinois - 21,582,351 records
Indiana - 110,351,941 records
Iowa - 2,484,067 records
Kansas - 6,387,245 records
Kentucky - 3,623,799 records
Louisiana - 749,802 records
Maine - 4,378,565 records
Maryland - 388,461,514 records
Massachusetts - 7,302,719 records
Michigan - 10,851,171 records
Minnesota - 45,470,352 records
Mississippi - 370,565 records
Missouri - 4,589,556 records
Montana - 1,637,832 records
Nebraska - 1,507,583 records
Nevada - 25,752,176 records
New Hampshire - 598,140 records
New Jersey - 150,028,157 records
New Mexico - 519,795 records
New York - 295,801,833 records
North Carolina - 27,406,656 records
North Dakota - 440,698 records
Ohio - 6,278,403 records
Oklahoma - 7,347,113 records
Oregon - 1,380,348,717
Pennsylvania - 17,614,927 records
Rhode Island - 206,955 records
South Carolina - 7,656,310 records
South Dakota - 45,179 records
Tennessee - 9,612,731 records
Texas - 294,847,285 records
Utah - 4,546,054 records
Vermont - 245,441 records
Virginia - 311,628,882 records
Washington - 81,289,253 records
West Virginia - 108,432 records
Wisconsin - 8,173,146 records

https://www.idtheftcenter.org/data-breaches/


Major Causes of Data Loss in the United States

    • Human error
      • Accidental deletion
      • Lack of training
      • Mis-clicks
    • Malware
      • Phishing
      • Spoofing
      • Ransomware
    • Unexpected events
      • Hardware failure
      • Software glitches
      • Natural disasters

[Call Out: Countries aren’t the only entities affected by data loss — 45% of retailers have reported the increased size, severity, and scope of cyberattacks against their data]

https://opendental.blog/natural-disasters-effect-critical-data/

https://cpl.thalesgroup.com/retail-data-threat-report


The Industries Most Affected By Data Breaches 

  • 5,212 global businesses experienced confirmed data loss between 2021 and 2022
  • Industries included:
    • Healthcare: 571 incidents 
      • USA: An employee at Anthem Health Insurance forwarded 18,500 members records’ to a third-party vendor (2017)
    • Finance: 690 incidents
      • Ukraine: 100 GB of data were exfiltrated from a loan services company (2018)
    • Transportation: 137 incidents 
      • UK: British Airways suffered data exfiltration affecting 400,000 customers (2020)
    • Public administration: 537 incidents
      • AUS: The South Australian government saw the exfiltration of government employee data (2021)
    • Manufacturing: 338 incidents
      • Japan: Toyota lost 300,000 customer emails to hackers (2022)

https://www.statista.com/statistics/329608/security-incidents-confirmed-data-loss-industry-size/

https://www.scmagazine.com/news/breach/anthem-reports-18500-members-involved-in-new-data-breach

https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/former-employee-arrested-for-trying-to-sell-companys-database-for-4-000/

https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-54568784.

https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/data-breach-impacts-80-000-south-australian-govt-employees/

https://tech.co/news/data-breaches-2022-so-far


An immeasurable amount of data has been destroyed throughout history

Ancient Data Losses Throughout History

  • The Royal Library of Ashurbanipal
    • 600 BC, Nineveh
    • 12,000 tablets affected in the sacking of Nineveh 
    • Estimated data loss: 13.71 GB
  • The Library of Alexandria
    • 48 BC, Alexandria
    • 500,000 scrolls lost in a fire during Caesar’s civil war
    • Estimated data loss: 571.42 GB
  • The Maya Religious Codices
    • 1562 AD, Mesoamerica
    • 20,040 religious codices destroyed by Spanish conquistadors
    • Estimated data loss: 22.990 GB

https://www.globaldatavault.com/blog/information-destruction-history/

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