Councils found wanting on data breaches

Councils are responsible for almost half the public sector data breaches since 2009, according to new research.

A series of Freedom of Information Requests collated by website reveal 152 breaches of confidential information by central government, councils, police forces and other public bodies in the past six years.

Of those, local authorities were responsible for 71 of the breaches – with one council responsible for five such incidents.

Tony Pepper, chief executive at encryption service provider, Egress, said:“The fact that these breaches are happening so regularly demonstrates a shocking lack of security, that is completely unacceptable – particularly when you consider the sensitive nature of the data public sector organisations are handling.”

London Borough of Islington reported five confidential data breaches – the worst record of all the public sector bodies – with four by Brighton & Hove City Council.

Pepper said councils need to ensure they give employees clear security policy guidelines and the tools to work securely without impacting productivity.

“As demonstrated by many of these breaches, it’s inevitable that people will make mistakes,” he said.

“In fact, 93% of data breaches are actually down to human error rather than malicious hacking, so accidental breaches by far outweigh anything else.”

“Matching policy with smart information security technology is the best way to protect against human error – otherwise we will continue to see breaches of this kind.”

Colin Marrs

Learn More →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Thank you! Your subscription has been confirmed. You'll hear from us soon.
Subscribe to our newsletter