Feeds

UK data-blurt cockups soared 1,000 PER CENT over last five years

That was supposed to be a secret but it got out

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

The number of times Brits' sensitive data has been lost or leaked in the UK has risen 1,000 per cent over the past five years. Councils recorded the biggest increase in breaches of data protection law, according to figures obtained by a Freedom of Information Act request.

The stats from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) revealed a huge jump in the number of self-reported bungles each year since 2007. Local government data law breaches increased by 1,609 per cent over that period of time. The average increase across Blighty's private and public sectors is 1,014 per cent.

Incidents of lost or leaked information in the private sector grew 1,159 per cent in that five-year period. NHS record breaches increased 935 per cent over the same period while central government data cock-ups increased 132 per cent.

Only the telecoms sector delivered a decrease in the number of info blunders from year to year, falling from six breaches in 2010/11 to zero in 2011/2012.

The latest full-year figures log 821 data breaches in the UK in 2011/2012. Precisely how many individuals were affected by each breach was not disclosed. The most recent quarterly results show that the NHS was responsible for the most incidents in Q2 2012 with 61 breaches, closely followed by local government (59) and private business (26).

The ICO has levied £2m in fines for data cock-ups in the 12 months running up to July 2012 - more than triple the penalties handed in the previous year, when the watchdog first gained powers to fine organisations responsible for particularly serious breaches of the law. Fines are typically applied for data breach incidents involving elements of negligence, repeat offending or other aggravating factors.

"The massive increase in data breaches in just five years is fairly startling," said Nick Banks, head of EMEA and APAC at Imation Mobile Security, which filed the information request.

"Perhaps more alarming is the consistent year-on-year increase in data breaches since 2007. The figures obtained from the ICO by Imation seem to show that increasing financial penalties have had little effect on the amount of data breaches each year."

"Undoubtedly there are some mitigating circumstances which have contributed to the rise in annual data breach numbers, such as the introduction of mandatory reporting in certain sectors, plus the increasing amounts of data being stored and accessed. But none of these factors obscures the clear trend of constant increases. Organisations must take responsibility for preventing breaches, and with so much available technology there really is no excuse for failing to adequately protect data," he added. ®

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.