How Data Loss Impacts the World

Last Updated:
January 18, 2023
Brian Wallace

Countries across the world have encountered multiple data breaches between 2013 and 2020. The United Kingdom experienced 140.1 million data records lost or stolen, China had 350.8 million, and the U.S. saw 6.2 billion. In fact, in 2022, more than 15 million global data records have been exposed, leaked, lost, or stolen in just 10 months. 


Although data loss affects every country, nearly two thirds of all global data losses have happened in the U.S. Maryland, Oregon, and California had the most data losses within the country with California losing about 5.6 billion records. The major causes of data loss includes human error, malware, and unexpected events. Human error causes include accidental deletion and misclicks while malware causes include phishing, spoofing, and ransomware. Unexpected events are usually associated with hardware failure, software glitches, and natural disasters. 


Retailers have also suffered an increase in the size, severity, and scope of cyberattacks against their data. Between 2021 and 2022, 5,212 global businesses experienced data loss with most of the incidents happening within the finance, healthcare, and public administration industries. In 2021, the South Australian government experienced the exfiltration of government employee data while Toyota lost 300,000 customer emails to hackers in 2022. 


Nonetheless, data loss isn’t anything new. More than 35,000 gigabytes (GB) of information have been destroyed throughout history. An estimated 571.4 GB of data is expected to have been lost from the Library of Alexandria in 48 B.C. Data loss can happen at any moment, so it’s best to be prepared.

The World's Largest Data Breaches

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