Insiders Responsible for More than Half of Public Sector Breaches in the UK

By: Arieanna Schweber | 2/22/2016

More than half of data breaches in the UK public sector originate from insiders, according to a new survey. 8MAN's Public Sector Data and Information Security Survey, which surveyed 600 IT professionals in the UK public sector (local authorities, healthcare, education), found that human error, rather than malicious intent, was to blame for many of the insider data breaches. When it came to large organizations alone, those insiders accounted for 75% of breaches in 2015.

The survey found consistent issues as related to employee errors, with simple data loss and staff errors being the largest concern for 60% of respondents, even higher than hacking, which concerned only 35% of respondents. Given the high number of cybersecurity (hacking) incidents which can be tied back to people, and to exploited mobile devices, it seems only fitting that employees are the top concern.

90% of the large organizations and 84% of the small businesses in the survey suffered a security breach in 2015, up from 2014 figures. The average cost per breach in a large organisation went up to £1.46m - £3.14m, a substantial increase over the 2014 range of £600,000-£1.15.

It’s clear from this report, which substantiates many others, that insiders are the top threat to data security in both the public and private sector. In our own whitepaper, The Enemy Within - Insiders are still the weakest link in your data security chain. we talk about the challenges that “people” pose to data security and how Absolute DDS can help your organization plug the security holes created by mobility and the role of insiders. Our unique Persistence technology offers an important layer to any data security strategy and helps mitigate the risk of human error, rogue employees, and cybercrime. Learn more at

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