The Low-Down on Data Breaches

Ever wondered what the real figures were behind data breaches? Well, below we’ve pulled together some vital research to show the intricacies of a data breach…..

  • In 2010, 96% of breaches were deemed avoidable through adopting simple controls within organisations
  • The majority of data breaches happens in businesses with 11 – 100 employees
  • 91% of breaches occurred in 2010 because of external threats
  • In 2010, the hospitality sector accounted the most amount of data breaches (40%) whereas the transportation sector had the least (less than 1%)
  • According to Verizon’s 2011 Data Breach Investigations Report, 50% of data breaches occurred from some form of hacking
  • A data breach is said to cost companies on average $2 million per incident
  • Sony’s latest data breach in April this year (2011) is said to be in the ‘top 5 ever
  • There has been a 27% jump in the number of incidents of stolen or lost personal information reported to the Privacy Commissioner this year (2011), compared to the previous year (2010).
  • The majority of companies who suffer a data breach are not made public so we have no idea of how big the real picture is. Nigel Waters who was Deputy Federal Privacy Commissioner and Assistant UK Data Protection Registrar said that the number of unreported breaches was easily in the “thousands”.
  • Currently there is no law in the UK that obliges companies to tell their customers if their details have been stolen. There are however these laws in the US, Japan, Germany, Spain, Norway and Austria .
  • In the UK, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has the power to fine companies up to £500,000 for concurring a data breach, but in the Netherlands, the Data Protection Authority will be able to fine Dutch companies up to several million Euros.

Data breaches are happening all around the world. Some we hear about and others we don’t. But the bottom line is that they are against the law and if your business is subjected to a breach then you will be penalised. That is why taking action now is more important than ever. Costly fines will be one of your least worries; you will also be subjected to significant brand damage and relationships with customers will be ruined.

Act now before it is too late!

Taking simple actions can be some of the most effective. As quoted above, the Venizon 2011 Data Breach Investigation Report  found that 96% of breaches were deemed avoidable through adopting simple controls. Implementing firewalls on every computer, making sure all your employees are using strong passwords and keeping your staff aware of the dangers surrounding information security are just some of the small things you can do to help protect your business from suffering a data breach.

Information Security Awareness Bundle

Information Security Awareness Bundle

This awareness bundle includes a combination of products that will help you deliver general information security education and information security awareness programmes. It includes staff awareness posters, a glossary for information security terms, an introduction to information security and many other items that will be useful in helping your business avoid a data breach.

Read more about what the Information Security Awareness Bundle contains and what it can do for your business.

Thanks to the following sources:


Verizon 2011 Data Breach Investigations Report