The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has reported a 400% increase in cyber security incidents being disclosed to it following the implementation of GDPR.

In the period from April to June 2018 (Q1 of the current government financial year), there were 414 reports of “cyber incidents” made to the ICO from various industries. This compares to 97 in the previous quarter and is also a significant jump over the previous two years’ reports.

Meanwhile, in the broader category of data security, the ICO said that in Q1 there were 3,146 incidents, a rise of 228% compared to 957 in the preceding quarter. This increase coincides with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into force which mandates that all incidents be reported to the ICO within 72 hours.

GDPR leads to significant increase in complaints

In August, it was revealed that the ICO had received 6,281 complaints between 25 May (the day the GDPR came into force) and 3 July, a 160% increase on the same period the year before, reinforcing concerns that GDPR would lead to over-reporting.

Tony Pepper, CEO at Egress Software Technologies, noted that most of the data breach incidents can be traced to failure of people, processes and policy. Some 65% of the data incidents, or just over 2,000, were the result of ‘incorrect disclosure of data’ compared to the 414 that were due to cyber security incidents.

Phishing the most common form of attack

The top three sectors for data breaches in general were health (677 incidents), general business (453) and education (415). However, it’s notable that when looking at cyber security incidents, the health sector reported a scant 12 incidents compared to general business (129 cyber incidents), finance/insurance (58) and education (56).

Analysing the data by type of attack, it’s clear that phishing (165 incidents) dominates the attack vectors, followed by the rather unspecific category of “unauthorised access” (104) and malware (58). It’s not clear from the statistics to what degree these incident types are linked as they often go together.

Source: SC Magazine