Online companies most likely to lose consumer data, study finds
Online companies are most likely to lose consumer data, according to a study by cyber security firm VPN Overview.
Since 2004, the sector has fallen victim to 53 data breaches with a rough total of over five billion pieces of data lost.
The study said that 81% of these breaches have been caused by hacking, followed by accidental publication (7.4%) and poor security (3.8%).
“The digitalised era comes with plenty of pros, but lots of cons at the same time,” a spokesperson for VPN Overview commented.
“…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.”
Positioned as the largest data breach in history, the 2013 hacking of Yahoo! saw three billion user records leaked which the company reported four years later. All Yahoo! users were affected.
The second industry most prone to losing customer data 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 cases were due to a stolen computer and/or stolen media, 38% were hackings and 10% were because of poor security.
US Health insurer Anthem suffered the biggest data breach within the industry in 2015 when 80 million records were hacked. The attack targeted personal information such as social security numbers, emails, home addresses and employment information.
According to VPN, the financial sector takes third place, with 38 data breaches for a total of almost two billion records lost.
“The hackings and data leaks in this list, as well as many others, should serve as a reminder of what can be done to improve security within plenty of industries, as it clear that no company is really safe from them,” the spokesperson added.
TechInformed tackled cyber security recently as part of a four-part special report all about attackers and what businesses can do to help keep them at bay. Click here to find out more.
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