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

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
NSA mass spying reform KILLED by US Senators
Democrats needed just TWO more votes to keep alive bill reining in some surveillance
'Internet Freedom Panel' to keep web overlord ICANN out of Russian hands – new proposal
Come back with our internet! cries Republican drawing up bill
What a Mesa: Apple vows to re-use titsup GT sapphire glass plant
Commits to American manufacturing ... of secret tech
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.