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

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.