Figures obtained from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) show a huge growth in the number of self-reported data breaches occurring each year since 2007. According to the data, local government data breaches have increased by 1,609 per cent, with the next largest increases coming from other public sector organisations (1,380 per cent) and the private sector (1,159 per cent).
Data breaches in the health service have increased by 935 per cent, and central government breaches are up by 132 per cent. The average increase across all eight recorded sectors since 2007 is 1,014 per cent. From November 2007 to November 2008, local governments reported just 11 data breaches, but by 2012 this figure had grown to 188. In addition to local government, the ICO also recorded breaches within the categories of central government, NHS, other public sector, private, telecoms, third sector and “other.”
Only telecoms delivered a decrease in the number of data breaches from year to year, falling from 6 breaches in 2010/11 to zero in 2011/2012. Nick Banks, head of EMEA and APAC, Imation Mobile Security said that the increase in data breaches in just five years is startling. The figures obtained from the ICO by Imation seem to show that increasing financial penalties have had little effect on the amount of data breaches each year, he said.
He said that there were some mitigating circumstances which have contributed to the rise in annual data breach numbers. Some of it was due to better reporting and increasing amounts of data being stored and accessed. But none of these factors obscures the clear trend of constant increases, Banks said.