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Fewer businesses reported data breaches to authorities during the pandemic

(Image credit: Shutterstock / Song_about_summer)

During the 2020/21 fiscal year, businesses in the UK reported a total of 9,532 data breach incidents, representing a 20 percent drop compared to the same period the year before. This is according to a new report from the Parliament Street think tank, based on data published by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). 

The report states that the Covid-19 pandemic is the main reason for the drop, together with mandatory breach reporting in sectors operating large volumes of data.

Worringly, the healthcare industry was responsible for 16.8 percent of all breaches reported to the ICO this past year, followed by education and childcare with 1,160 reports (13.6 percent) . Retail (10.9 percent), finance insurance and credit (10.5 percent) and local government (8.8 percent) round out the top five. 

In most cases (71.4 percent) - the reports lead to no further action. In a fifth of cases (21.6 percent), however, incidents were investigated further, although their specific outcomes have not been clarified.

In just 0.1 percent of cases, the ICO took “formal action”, which includes administrative punishment or a low-tier fine, it was said.

For Chris Ross, SVP Sales International for Barracuda Networks, a dip in incidents reported doesn’t mean it’s time to get complacent - quite the contrary.

“Businesses must ensure that all employees are provided with regular and tailored security training, so that they can appreciate the seriousness of this threat and react accordingly,” he concluded.