Home / News & Resources / News & Updates / Data security incidents are on the rise

Data security incidents are on the rise

  • Posted on

There has been a 9% increase in reported data security incidents over the last quarter. What's more, there has been a 41% rise year-on-year. That's according to the Information Commissioner's Office[1] (ICO) - an independent authority, set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, and to promote openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.

However, this isn't necessarily bad news. In fact, the ICO suggests that the surge could be down to more people reporting security breaches due to growing awareness of the GDPR, and the launch of its new Personal Data Breach helpline. Regardless, information shared in error is the single highest contributor to data breaches year-on-year, and when this data contains sensitive information, the potential damage and distress are huge.

Delving into key sectors, it seems that general business, education and local government are once again the areas with the most reported data security incidents.

Central government

Government bodies must do more to improve cybersecurity. This is particularly important as cybercrime is now acknowledged by the UK government as the foremost threat to national security. Despite this, reported incidents in central government increased by a whopping 178%. And, the ICO highlights a particular issue with failing to redact data in this sector.


Schools handle a lot of sensitive personal data, and it's vital that this is kept safe. Especially where children are involved. However, all too often, educational organisations either aren't are aware of their obligations or haven't done enough to ensure that they meet them.

In fact, reported incidents in the education sector have risen by 68%, with breaches involving data sent by email to an incorrect recipient increasing substantially.


Healthcare is rapidly going digital. So, it is vital that there are adequate and robust protections in place to secure the data and information held within it. And that healthcare staff have the knowledge and ability to handle such data securely. According to the ICO, the UK health sector continues to have the highest number of reports. Primarily because breach reporting is mandatory in this sector.

Over the last quarter, there has been a 22% increase in reported health incidents with the most common causes being:

  • Data posted or faxed to the incorrect person
  • Data sent by email to the incorrect recipient
  • Loss or theft of paperwork.

The report also reveals that cybersecurity incidents have decreased by 19%. However, this continues to be a priority for the ICO. Of cyber incidents, unauthorised access and malware are the biggest reported problems.

At Hayes Connor, we can help you make claims against a wide range of organisations already fined by the ICO. Of course, you may not know that your data has been breached until you read about it or see it in the news. But if you are in any doubt, it's worth finding out whether your data was put at risk, because, if so, you may have a claim for compensation. We can also keep you updated on upcoming and current data breach claim investigations.

With strict-time limits in place for making most compensation claims, if you want to achieve maximum recompense in the minimum amount of time, it's essential to act now.

[1] https://infogram.com/1ppl7drqj6wrwdarw7zrrwepdquz6z9rrxq