When building a startup, it is critical that no data is lost or stolen. Lost data could breach the privacy of the startup’s customers and result in the loss of important information. Unfortunately, data breaches are all too common, both among businesses and countries. Learning more about cybercrime and data loss can help us prepare for them moving forward.
Data Breaches Can Happen Anywhere
Data loss is a problem in every country. The United States experiences the most data breaches; its lost data makes up 64% of the worldwide total. In fact, between 2013 and 2020, the United States lost 6.2 billion records of data. The next hardest-hit countries were India and China, with a loss of 394.3 million and 350.8 million records, respectively.
In the United States specifically, each state sees a different amount of data loss. California experiences the worst of it, having lost 5.6 billion records between 2013 and 2020. Oregon also experiences significant data loss, with 1.4 billion records lost in the same timeframe. Even Wyoming, which has the least amount of data loss, still lost 10,000 records. While this might not seem like much when compared to California, each lost or stolen record likely impacted a large number of people, making it a serious issue.
Main Causes of Data Loss
The United States sees three major causes of data loss: human error, malware, and unexpected events. Human errors can include filing data in the wrong place, clicking on the wrong link, accidentally deleting files, or a myriad of other mistakes. Malware takes the form of spoofing or phishing. Finally, unexpected events range from natural disasters to software glitches. There is a wide variety of threats, making it hard to pinpoint one culprit in the data loss problem.
Retailers also suffer from data loss. In fact, between 2021 and 2022, 5,212 global businesses experienced confirmed data loss. One example of data loss in retail occurred in Japan in 2022. During this cyberattack, Toyota lost 300,000 customer emails to hackers. Another data loss event happened in the United Kingdom and impacted British Airways. In 2020, the airline suffered data exfiltration, which affected 400,000 customers.
Data loss has impacted human society for a millennium. For example, the Royal Library of Ashurbanipal in Nineveh lost an estimated 13.7 GB of data in 600 BC. While there were not computers or the internet during that time, critical and powerful knowledge could still be lost. History shows us that data loss is unfortunately common and not unique to our time, making it a persistent challenge.
Data breaches can have sweeping consequences for a large number of people, while also damaging company reputation and profits. Getting data loss under control is critical to creating a thriving society and successful businesses. Consider how you can bolster your own personal defenses when it comes to your data, or the data of the people around you. This is especially important if you are building a startup, as you want to ensure that the company’s data and the customers’ data remains secure.
Brian Wallace is a Columnist at Grit Daily. He is an entrepreneur, writer, and podcast host. He is the Founder and President of NowSourcing and has been featured in Forbes, TIME, and The New York Times. Brian previously wrote for Mashable and currently writes for Hacker Noon, CMSWire, Business 2 Community, and more. His Next Action podcast features entrepreneurs trying to get to the next level. Brian also hosts #LinkedInLocal events all over the country, promoting the use of LinkedIn among professionals wanting to grow their careers.