Local gov second highest sector for data breaches

A study, carried out by Egress Software Technologies, has found that local government has had the second highest number of data breach incidents in the last two years.

The data, received from the Information Commissioner's office, showed that there have been 642 reported incidents in the time period between January 2013 and December 2016, representing an 11 per cent share of incidents, which was only behind the data breaches experienced by healthcare organisations, which suffered 2,447 incidents and accounted for 43 percent of all reported incidents over the same period.

The analysis of figures found that data shared in error is the single highest contributor to breaches year-on-year resulting from human error, causing 31 per cent of incidents in 2014, 34 per cent in 2015 and 31 per cent 2016. Furthermore, internal staff mistakes accounted for almost half of total data breach incidents: recorded as 44 per cent from October-December 2014, 43 per cent in 2015 and 49 per cent in 2016.

Tony Pepper, CEO and co-founder of Egress Software Technologies, said: “We are all aware that security incidents are rising, but many may not suspect how large a proportion of these are down to error and lack of control over sensitive data.

“What the information from the ICO makes clear is that all businesses need to do more to better protect sensitive information. Meeting this challenge requires a combination of improved employee training and the communication of risks, and the deployment of the right technologies to minimise the number opportunities available for human error to take hold.”

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