The Ministry of Defense in the UK have an increase of 18% rise on personal data loss incidents for the combined fiscal year 2019 and 2020 based on the official figures after the analysis conducted by Parliament Street.
The Defense Department of UK disclosed that there were 546 incidents of reported personal data loss last 2020, incident numbers up from 463 during the previous 2 years. Among the reported incidents, 7 were directly reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office due to the loss’s severe nature.
Majority of the incidents which are 454 were recorded under the unauthorized disclosure category. Another 49 were categorized under the loss of inadequately protected electronic equipment, device or documents inside a government’s secured premises, with 19 more reported incidents outside government premises.
Among the 7 most serious incidents reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office, one case filed in July 2019 involved a sub-contractor disposing of a Ministry of Defense material incorrectly, which resulted in two employees’ personal and health data accidentally exposed.
Another incident is when a delivery package containing claims forms of 5 individuals got lost in transit in February 2020.
A cybersecurity expert has commented on the reported figures and mentioned that we see how simple human error can lead to data loss incidents that lead to compromised data and reputational damage among organizations from time to time. Mistakes are always going to happen as companies and organizations allow their employees to handle more data and make staff responsible for the safety of sensitive information. Organizations must find ways to secure data handling and their people.
We at iZOOlogic continuously encourage user education on safe data handling and process as a good first step. However, organizations should still consider the latest cybersecurity technologies and understand how it can provide another layer of protection to assist staff in making smart decisions to limit human errors leading to data loss and breach.
In today’s demand for remote working arrangements for staffs, the vulnerability of systems and data on public sector organizations would likely increase. Last December 2020, Parliament Street has reported that the UK Ministry of Justice suffered 17 serious data breach.