Nearly a third of employees are handling more data according to survey

By Legal Futures’ Associate Hayes Connor Solicitors

A survey conducted by data management business DSA Connect has found that 30% of employees are handling more data and that more than a third (37%) anticipated an increase in both the number and value of data breach fines by 2025.

Recent figures from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) show that human error remains a greater risk to data protection within organisations than cyber incidents with 1,976 non cyber related incidents recorded in its Q4 report.

Christine Sabino, senior associate at data breach and cybercrime specialist Hayes Connor Solicitors, said: “It is not surprising that employees are now handling more data. As more organisations become increasingly paperless and reliant on digitised systems, it will arguably be easier to store, process and share large volumes of personal information.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has also forced homeworking on a significant scale making the protection of private data more challenging and the risk of human error a growing concern.”

According to recent ICO figures, the number of reported data breach incidents as a result of human error were nearly three times higher than data breaches following a cyber attack.

Richard Forrest, senior associate at data breach and cybercrime specialist Hayes Connor Solicitors, commented: “Consumers are sharing more personal information now than ever. Employees are also currently working under very unusual circumstances during lockdown and multiple reports show that businesses on the whole are still not investing enough in robust cyber security measures which should include regular staff awareness training.

“It is a recipe for a heightened number of incidents over the coming months and years and with consumers increasingly aware of their data protection rights post GDPR, we anticipate both a growing number of data breach fines and an increase in the value of the penalties.”

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