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Human Error Causes More Data Loss than Malicious Attacks

Human Error Causes More Data Loss than Malicious Attacks

According to statistics from the UK’s Information Commissioner’s office human error is the main cause of data breaches.

The figures were obtained by Egress Software Technologies via a Freedom of Information request that found human error accounted for almost two-thirds of the incidents reported to the ICO – overtaking other causes such as insecure web pages and hacking.

According to the findings the most common type of breach occurred as a result of someone sending data to the wrong person, with 17% of data breaches being caused by data being posted or faxed to the wrong recipient.

17% of breaches came from loss and theft of paperwork, while in 9% of cases data was emailed to the wrong recipient.

CEO of Egress, Tony Pepper, said: “The fact that so many breaches are caused by methods of working that are known data breach pitfalls – such as faxing and posting sensitive information, or using plaintext email – should be a major concern for all organisations.

“Organisations need to begin gaining a holistic understanding of the information security measures they have in place.”

Pepper recommended that businesses examine the nature of the data produced and handled by their staff by using a classification tool to mandate how it’s treated.

Public awareness of data loss will rise when changes to European data protection laws come into play in 2018 through the General Data Protection Regulation.

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