A Closer Look at Data Breaches in the US


Data breaches can cripple small businesses. It is therefore important that small business owners are aware of how data breaches strike and where potential issues may arise.

Next DLP, providers of a user-centric, flexible, cloud-native AI/ML-powered solution built for today’s landscape threat, have provided an infographic looking at the world’s largest data breaches.

Here are some of the key points from the ‘World’s Largest Data Breaches’ data.

From 2013 – 2020, the United States had a total 6.2 billion data records lost or stolen, the highest in the world. In fact, nearly two thirds of all global data losses have occurred in the United States.

The US was followed by China in the highest number of data breaches, which had 350.8 million data records lost or stolen during the same period. The United Kingdom was victim to 140.1 million data breaches between 2013 and 2020.

Data Losses by States

Next DLP also looked at the states where the most data losses have taken place. The top five states for data losses in the US are: California, Oregon, Maryland, Georgia, and Virginia.

Major Causes of Data Loss

Human error, including accidental deletion, lack of training and misclicks, are some of the highest causes of data loss in the US. As is malware, namely phishing, spoofing and ransomware. Unexpected events such as hardware failure, software glitches and natural disasters, are another leading cause of data losses in the US.

Industries Most Affected by Data Breaches

Certain industries are more prone to data losses than others. In the United States the healthcare industry experienced 571 data loss incidents between 2021 and 2017. While in Japan in 2022, the transportation industry experienced 137 incidents. Toyota lost 300,000 customer emails to hackers in Japan that year.

For small businesses, the immensity of data losses around the world highlights the importance of taking the right action, such as installing PCs with anti-viruses and providing staff with the right training, to protect businesses from data breaches and potential losses.

World’s Largest Data Breaches (Infographic)

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Image: Depositphotos



Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 7 years. She is based in the United Kingdom and since 2006, Gabrielle has been writing articles, blogs and news pieces for a diverse range of publications and sites. You can read "Gabrielle’s blog here.".