Online companies are most likely to lose users’ data, with 53 registered data breaches since 2004. Hot on their heels come the healthcare industry, with 47 data breaches, and financial companies third, with registered 38 data breaches.
This was revealed by a new study, conducted by cyber security experts VPN Overview, which analysed major data breaches that have been registered since 2004 to discover which industry is most prone to losing data.
When it comes to online entities, in the 53 breaches, a rough total of over five billion pieces of data were lost, and 81% of these breaches were caused by hacking, followed by accidental publication (7.4%) and poor security (3.8%).
Three billion records were breached in the 2013 Yahoo hacking, which was reported by the company four years later in 2017 and stands as the largest data breach in history – it has been said to have affected all Yahoo users.
Second on the list is the healthcare industry, which has lost a total of almost two hundred million records in its 47 registered events. Within this number, 43% of cases were due to a stolen computer and/or stolen media, 38% were hackings and 10% were because of poor security.
The biggest data breach in the healthcare industry was suffered by Anthem, the second-largest health insurer in the US, in 2015. Some 80 000 000 records were hacked in this attack which targeted personal information such as social security numbers, emails, home addresses, and employment information.
Three billion records were breached in the 2013 Yahoo hacking, which … stands as the largest data breach in history.
The financial industry comes in third, with a total of almost two billion records lost during its 38 security incidents. Half of the instances were data being hacked, 18% of the breaches were due to stolen media, 16% were breached by an insider of the company and 5% due to poor security.
Within this industry, the biggest leak was in 2019 when 885 000 000 records from insurance giant First American Corporation’s Web site were found to be publicly accessible. The breach included bank account details, social security numbers, wire transactions and other mortgage paperwork dating all the way back to 2003.
According to VPN Overview, the digital era comes with plenty of pros, but many cons at the same time, with data leakage being among the most dangerous. “In fact, while it is wise to remember that everything we put on the internet cannot be 100% deleted, it is also important to be able to trust organisations which are supposed to protect and store their consumers’ data safely.”
The company added that hackings and data leaks in this list, as well as many others, should serve as a harsh reminder of what can be done to improve security within plenty of industries, as it is obvious that no entity is really safe from them.
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