How common are data breaches in the UK?


A data breach is when confidential information is accessed, copied or stolen by an unauthorized individual. And they’re a widespread problem for UK businesses. 88 per cent of UK businesses had some form of data breach in the 12 months leading up to May 2020. High income charities have been targeted in particular. Below, we explore how common data breaches are in UK and the nature of these breaches.

Company size

Data breaches have cost UK businesses plenty of money since GDPR laws were introduced. The average cost of data breaches across the last 12 months for all businesses in the UK was just over £2500, but it does vary by company size. The larger the company the more the average cost of data breaches grew.

Has security been prioritised?

During the pandemic, it looks as though the risk of a data breach is higher than ever. With many companies just trying to survive, it’s been harder to invest money and time into data protection. This has been exacerbated by operations changing for many businesses. With lockdown and a widespread acceptance of working from home, there needed to be a cyber security push to protect workers and consumers from breaches, but it seems as though this hasn’t been prioritised.

What steps could companies take?

For those companies that are serious about tackling their data breaches, there are a number of steps that can be taken to ease the situation. Investing a virtual private network (VPN) system is crucial for companies with employees working from home as it creates an encrypted internet connection from a device to the company’s network. Staff can also be given mock phishing tests so that they can identify and avoid attempts to steal data. A cyber security vulnerability audit can also help a company calculate where they need to improve.

The most significant data breaches

Data breaches can affect any company, with the most significant breaches impacting millions of consumers. May 2020 saw EasyJet being affected by a cyber-attackthat left nine million customers vulnerable. And in 2012 a cyber security breach at LinkedIn left 117 million accounts compromised.

Data breaches are clearly a significant problem in the UK. As an individual or business, there are areas you can cover if a data protection breach has occurred, with the possibility of even going to a solicitor to seek any legal advice.




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