ICO data security statistics highlight need for increased staff awareness

The Information Commissioner’s Office’s (ICO) latest statistics on data security incidents have revealed a 19% increase from Q2 to Q3 2017, with 815 incidents reported between October and December 2017. This is an alarming 41% rise on the same period in 2016. The reasons are thought to be growing awareness of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the introduction of the ICO’s personal data breach helpline.

Key findings:

  • In the central government sector, there was a staggering 178% increase in reported incidents on Q2, up from 9 to 25.
  • The education sector saw a 68% increase, from 57 reported incidents in Q2 to 96 in Q3. There was an upsurge in the number of incidents where data was sent to the incorrect recipient.
  • There was a 22% increase in the health sector. The three main breach types were data posted or faxed to an incorrect recipient, data sent via email to an incorrect recipient and loss or theft of paperwork.

The incidents where data was sent to an incorrect recipient were likely preventable. Employees pose a threat to data security within organisations, not just maliciously but accidentally also. To combat and prevent these occurrences, employees who handle sensitive data must have the correct knowledge and a good understanding of information security and best practices.

 Better protect your information assets

Our Information Security Staff Awareness E-learning Course can help your employees learn about the most important elements of information security. The course will teach them how to avoid becoming a security liability, introduce internal policies on incident reporting and responses, and provide basic knowledge of information security best practices to reduce preventable mistakes.

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