Theft accounts for one third of data security breaches

Darren Allan

November 13, 2009

The ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) has revealed figures that show burglary and theft are responsible for a third of data leaks.

Since 25 million child benefit records went astray in November 2007, some 711 public and private organisations have reported security breaches to the ICO. Of these, 231 cases involved theft.

David Smith, Deputy Information Commissioner, commented: “Since November 2007 we have taken action against 54 organisations for the most reckless breaches… Some of these breaches would trigger a significant fine for organisations were they to occur after the introduction of monetary penalties in 2010.”

“We are keen to encourage organisations to achieve better data protection compliance and we expect that the prospect of a significant fine for reckless or deliberate data breaches will focus minds at Board level.”

The Ministry of Justice is currently considering the appropriate levels for such fines to be set at, but according to reports it could be as much as £500,000. We’d wager that would definitely focus a few minds at board level.


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