Latest figures show an increase in the amount of data security breaches in the UK, highlighting the need for improved education, bbc.co.uk reports. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)said that there had been a tenfold increase of such breaches during the last five years, compromising sensitive and personaldata. Of all the industry sectors, telecoms was the only one to demonstrate a decrease. In 2007-08, 79 breaches were recorded in the UK,in 2011-12, 821 incidences occurred. However, while the figures may seem extraordinarily high, the ICO believes that this is partially due to increased awareness of data security legislation, resulting in more people actually reporting the breaches. Regulations were introduced two years ago thatlevied fines for firms whofailed to keep data secure. With the reporting increase this year, the ICO has collected three times morefines than just a year ago, amounting toaround £2 million. Being hit with a £50,000 fine should be enough to prompt even the smallest company to re-examine theirsecurity arrangements, perhaps enlisting the expertise ofthird party business IT support for guidance. Help certainly could have been used by the NHS, where breachesincreased by 935 per cent since 2007 andin local government, where a worrying 1,609 per cent rise in data breaches was found, according to theregister.com. In a statement, the ICO said: “Over the years, we have provided practical support and guidance to organisations across the UK and are pleased that the health service and government sectors are now expected to report serious breaches, involving sensitive or large volumes of personal data, to our office.”

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