(Image credit/Pexels/ThisIsEngineeering)A new report by Uswitch has revealed which countries have been the worst hit by data breaches. The report also highlights the worst cases of data theft in modern times.

The US ranks as the worst-affected country with 6,219,819,956 recorded cases since 2013, or 1,879,085 cases per 100,000 people. Host to a high population and an industrial hub of technology-based companies, the States is a hotspot for cybercrime. Despite a number of proposals to improve it during the Obama administration, cybersecurity in the states is not as strong as it could be. As a result, it leaves organisations open to more data breaches.

Laws are put in place to safeguard users and protect data as governments and corporations attempt to protect online infrastructure. Canada comes in third with 91,830,959 cases since 2013, or 243,311 per 100,000 people relatively. This is closely followed by the UK with 206,433 cases per 100,000.

Interestingly, China and India have not made it into the top 20 despite having their own technology industry hotspots. In China, data security laws are deemed to be of the highest priority. With concerns about censorship, it is interesting to understand where data breaches sit. Whereas in India cybersecurity laws are so lax that 394,307,531 cases of data breach have been recorded since 2013. However, due to such a high population, it ranks 22nd with 28,573 per 100,000 people.

Data breaches – most commonly stolen data

According to the Uswitch report, credential theft was the most common form of attack (60%).

Data that can be stolen needs to be able to extort a victim or be sold. Email addresses and passwords are the most compromised data with 871 cases collectively. But what other data can be stolen and be used against individuals and businesses?

From physical addresses and security questions to sexual orientation and chat logs. If it is on the internet, then there is a chance it could be stolen.

10 most hacked companies

In 2013 Yahoo was the victim of a severe data breach. The company had 3 billion usernames, phone numbers, passwords and birthdates stolen through encrypted security that was easily cracked. Through this mass of vital information, it was assumed government systems could be hacked and infiltrated all over the world. Because of the data breach, Yahoo underwent many shareholder lawsuits due to its financial liabilities. The stolen data also left users bank accounts vulnerable where passwords were reused.

The information from the Yahoo data breach is rumoured to have been sold on the dark web. However, it is not known what was done with it.

More recently, Chinese microblogging site Weibo saw a data breach of 538,000,000 records with phone numbers, gender, location and usernames stolen. As the hacker was unable to gain access to passwords, the data was available to buy on the dark web for ¥1,799 ($250). Although, this does not mean that using the data could not be harmful. Pairing it with other breaches could lead to mass infiltration.

As hacking techniques get smarter, are governments and companies able to get ahead of data breaches? With more global and local countermeasures being put in place to protect our data and user education slowly getting better, hopefully, we’ll be able to tackle the hackers much more effectively in the future.

Enterprise Times: What this means for business

Recently published research indicated that 60% of UK retailers have experienced a cyber attack in 2020. In addition, the BBC revealed that it receives over a quarter of a million malicious email attacks every day. From email addresses and passwords to bank, job and identity details, it’s incredibly important that data stays secure. But with increasingly intelligent cyber-attacks continuing to breach the data security of businesses and individuals across the world.

The best ways to stave off hackers are always changing. This means enterprises need to sharpen up on the most common types of internet fraud. From email fraud that looks genuine to social media scams and private messages. The Uswitch report suggests, individuals have to think twice before clicking on a suspicious message or set a new password.


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