– Online businesses are at the top, with 53 recorded data breaches since 2004

– The health sector ranks second, with 47 data breaches and almost 200,000,000 leaked data.

– Financial companies are third, registering 38 data breaches

Web companies are more likely to lose your data, according to a new study.

The study, conducted by cybersecurity experts VPN Overview, looked at the top data breaches that have occurred since 2004 to find out which industry is most likely to lose data.

Online businesses take the top spot, with 53 data breaches in the industry since 2004, resulting in an approximate total of more than five billion pieces of data lost. 81% of these breaches were caused by computer hacking, followed by accidental publication (7.4%) and poor security (3.8%).

Three billion records were breached in the 2013 Yahoo hack, which was reported by the company four years later in 2017 as the largest data breach in history; it is said to have affected all Yahoo users.

Second on the list is the healthcare industry, with 47 data breaches in the last 18 years, for a total of almost two hundred million records. Within this number, 43% of the cases were due to a stolen computer and/or stolen media, 38% to hacking and 10% to poor security.

The largest data breach has occurred in the healthcare sector Anthem Inc.the second largest health insurer of the united states, in 2015 when 80,000,000 records were hacked. The attack targeted personal information such as social security numbers, emails, home addresses and work information.

The financial sector ranks third, with 38 data breaches for a total of nearly two billion lost records. 50% of instances were data that was hacked, 18% of breaches were due to stolen media, 16% were breaches by a company insider and 5% were due to poor security.

Within the industry, the biggest leak was in 2019, when 885,000,000 records from the insurance giant First American Corporation the website was found to be publicly accessible. The breach included bank details, social security numbers, wire transactions and other mortgage paperwork dating back to 2003.

The 10 industries most likely to lose data

Rank / Type of organization / Number of breaches since 2004

1 / Online Companies (Web) / 53

2 / Health / 47

3 / Financial / 38

4 / Government / 30

5 / Retail trade / 27


7 / Academic / 13

8 / Games / 12

9 / Telecommunications / 12

10 / Social Network / 8

A spokesperson for VPN Overview commented on the findings: “The digital age comes with many pros, but many cons at the same time, with potential data leakage possibly being the most dangerous. Indeed, although it is wise to remember that everything that we put on the internet cannot be 100% removed, it is also important to be able to trust the organizations that are supposed to protect and store their consumers’ data securely.

“The hacks and data leaks on this list, as well as many others, should serve as a reminder of what can be done to improve security in many industries, as it’s clear that no company is truly safe from them.”

The study was conducted by VPN Overview, cybersecurity experts dedicated to helping Internet users feel safer and more secure online.



For more information contact Fran Mariutti: +44 (0) 7306 390 397, fran.mariutti@journoresarch.org

Data from the New York Times, Anthem Inc.Reuters, Forbes


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