Most people think of data breaches in terms of a hacker gaining access to a network and stealing thousands – if not millions – of people’s personal information. Many breaches don’t follow this template, however: they are small and non-technical in nature.
Many breaches occur due to simple human error. Let me give you some examples. Recently, I have had other people’s post delivered to my home address, even though it was addressed correctly. I have also had another e-commerce retailer’s customer information emailed to me. In both of these instances, human error has caused a data breach.
No doubt you have had similar situations where you have had someone else’s post put through your door or where you have received information via email when you weren’t the intended recipient.
According to the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), over half of the data breaches that occurred in the three quarters of 2013/2014 for which figures are available were the result of information being disclosed in error. This far outweighs the number of breaches that were the result of loss or theft of data.
With this being the case – and with the ICO only being aware of a small number of the data breaches that occur – if one were to extrapolate the results of the findings out to the wider environment, it’s not hard to imagine that there are many data breaches that occur due to human error.
It is pretty clear: you’ve probably been the victim of a data breach but just don’t know it.
Want a simple and effective way to prevent emails being sent to the wrong people? Boldon James Classifier can help you prevent the loss of your organisation’s critical data through simple human error. Find out more about Classifier.