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MoD under fire over multiple data breaches

(Image credit: Shutterstock / Rabbit_Photo)

The UK Ministry of Defense (MoD (opens in new tab)) suffered more data breaches in 2020 than in the year prior, seven of which were reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for further investigation.

This is according to a new report from the Parliament Street Think Tank, and based on data provided by the MoD itself.

Overall, there was an 18 percent increase in the number of incidents that resulted in personal data loss, from 463 in 2019 to 546 last year. Seven were reported to the ICO and 49 came about as a result of lost or inadequately protected devices or misplaced documents. The majority (454 incidents) were categorized under “unauthorized disclosure”.

Some of these incidents include subcontractors incorrectly disposing MoD documents (opens in new tab), papers being lost during archiving or in transit, or data not being properly anonymized.

"Time and time again we see how simple incidents of human error can compromise data security and damage reputation,” said cybersecurity expert Tim Sadler, CEO at Tessian.

“The thing is that mistakes are always going to happen. So, as organizations give their staff more data to handle and make employees responsible for the safety of more sensitive information, they must find ways to better secure their people.”

Sadler believes education on safe data practices is a “good first step”, but business leaders need to add extra layers of protections and help employees make “smarter security decisions”.

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.