A recent freedom of information request by chartered accountants UHY Hacker Young reveals a worrying rise in reported data breaches across the UK education sector.
The high-profile GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) mandates data breach reporting in many cases, and a lot of incidents have been reported since the Regulation came into force, but the numbers shared by the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) reveal a growing trend even before then.
The highest number of breaches in 2016-17
In 2016–17, UK schools reported the highest number of breaches (703) across the sector, an increase of 4% on the previous year. Over the same period, nurseries saw a 27% increase, while universities and colleges showed the smallest increase across the sector.
The GDPR requires organisations to take reasonable steps to protect their data, but with competing priorities and limited budgets, this can be challenging for the education sector – which makes for a particularly attractive target, as institutions typically also hold large amounts of sensitive data.
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