Local government outperforms most sectors as security incidents soar


Organisations are being overwhelmed by security breaches, leading to the number of incidents reported to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) almost doubling in the last year.

Data disclosed in error and breaches in security were the primary reasons for an 88% rise in self-reported data protection breaches between 2014-15 and 2015-16, according to a Freedom of Information request by Huntsman Security. A total of 2,048 incidents were reported to the ICO between April 2015 and March 2016.



The sectors responsible for most data breaches remained consistent; with health, local government and education responsible for the majority of data breaches, accounting for 64% of all reported breaches.

However, despite a reputation in previous years for poor performance, local government organisations are outperforming other sectors with the number of security breaches rising by only 14%. Overall, 70% of all incidents reported by government bodies were due to disclosure of data in error; meaning reducing or identifying possible signs of human error or anomalous activity should be a priority.

Of the 2,048 breaches reported to the ICO, data shows that no further action was taken in 1,544 cases.

Peter Woollacott, CEO of Huntsman Security, said: “The root of the problem is that organisations are under such an intense barrage of cyber activity that threat alerts, many of which turn out to be benign, are overwhelming cyber security teams.

“There is simply too much data to analyse and verify manually. Genuine threats require immediate attention but frequently the investigation of benign and even false alarms can waste a great deal of valuable time and resources.”

Related reading