Laura Sharman 01 September 2016

Councils report 14% more security breaches in past year

The local government sector reported 202 security breaches to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in the past 12 months, an increase of 14% from the year before.

The figures, compiled by Huntsman Security, shows that healthcare and local government had the highest number of incidents, mainly due to data protection issues. Data accidentally disclosed in error accounted for 64% of all reported breaches in this time period.

Although local councils reported 14% more security breaches in the past 12 months to the ICO, the figures had increased by 88% across all sectors.

Peter Woollacott, CEO of Huntsman Security, said: ‘Unfortunately, this is not the full story. The average organisation is subject to multiple breaches, of which only some will be detected, so the figures reported to the ICO are likely to be understated.’

However, Mr Woollacott did suggest the increase in the number of breaches being reported could mean councils are getting better at identifying security threats.

‘Quite simply, no news is bad news: if breaches aren’t being detected, it most likely just means that security analysts are having difficulty finding the needles in the haystack,’ he said.

Earlier this month, Hampshire County Council was fined £100,000 by the ICO after social care files containing sensitive information about adults and children were discovered in a disused building.

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