ICO statistics show increase in reported incidents ahead of GDPR

The Information Commissioner’s Office’s (ICO) latest statistics on data security incidents have revealed a 17% increase in the number of reported data security incidents in Q4 2017-18. The ICO suspects that the rise may be caused by increased awareness of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the launch of its ‘Personal Data Breach helpline’.

Source: ICO Data Security Trends Q4 2017-18

Key findings:

  • The total number cyber security incidents in Q4 2017-18 increased by 31% (from 74 to 97).
  • The education sector saw a 32% increase (from 96 to 127) in reported incidents.
  • The charitable and giving sector saw an increase of 69% from the previous quarter, with a spike in incidents where data was emailed to the incorrect recipient.
  • The healthcare sector saw a 21% increase in the number of reported incidents. The most common causes for these incidents, as well as for the incidents reported in the sector over 2017-18, were data posted or faxed to the incorrect recipient, loss or theft of paperwork, and data emailed to the incorrect recipient.

Incidents in which data is sent to an incorrect recipient are generally preventable. Employee errors such as these pose a significant threat to data security within organisations, and show that incidents do not just occur with malicious intent, but can also happen accidentally. 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.

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

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