40 Percent Of Public Sector Bodies Among Data Breach Victims

Media Division | March 13, 2015

The public sector has been performing well in meeting its efficiency targets, but it is facing problems when it comes to cyber security issues. The latest report from Iron Mountain revealed that 61 percent of IT leaders in the public sector said that their firms lost important documents, and 40 percent of them stated that they have suffered a data breach – a worryingly alarming percentage.

Data breach examples in the public sector include an employee at Wolverhampton Council sending out a report containing sensitive information that should have been eliminated and Cornwall Council sending information about redundancies and salaries to the wrong employees. The report also suggested that a cost cutting drive towards digital has led to a significant increase in data breach occurrence, as staff members aren’t equipped with the digital security skills needed to ensure the safety of data.

Commercial director at Iron Mountain, Phil Greenwood, stated the following:

“The UK’s public sector is going through a period of transformational change. Almost everyone we surveyed said that cost cutting had resulted in the loss of valuable skills in records and information management.”

He continued that for the public sector to be successful in bringing its services online, bringing down costs and freeing up its estate, the transformation must be met with improvements in how information and records are managed. He also suggested that public sector bodies need improvement in information management. With 4/5 bodies identifying the chance to reduce costs further by optimizing their information management and records, this looks like an area that can be given further consideration.

“It is important that the individuals, teams and departments responsible for the government’s vast estate of information have the support they need to proceed into a digital future with confidence,” Greenwood concluded.

In total, ¼ of all data breaches reported to the ICO between April 2014 and June 2014 included destruction or accidental loss of personal data, and around 43 percent of these were due to sending data to the wrong postal and email addresses. Technical failings resulted in 7 percent of data breaches, while remainder were a result of poor systems and processes in place, human error, and a lack of care during handling of data.

What can the public sector do?

The public sector needs to coordinate with security firms to provide a rapid-response service to neutralize data breach threats and reduce overall damages caused by cyber criminal activity.

Massive’s threat intelligence feeds can help the public sector identify variables in infected systems, as well as extract different data structures. The data streams can be intercepted for threat notification and analysis. The option can help you if you are concerned about being a silent victim of a data breach.

Operating behind the scenes to protect some of the world’s largest institutions, Massive’s threat intelligence feed algorithm can help public sector bodies by providing them real-time threat reports and notifications which signify that their systems have been breached (threat already exists) or will be targeted in the future.

Massive's Media Division publishes timely news and insights based on current events, trends, and actionable cross-industry expertise.