Human Error Responsible For Most Data Breaches in 2019

A report by CybSafe has revealed that nine out of ten data breaches occurred in 2019 as a result of human error.

According to information CybSafe received from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) 2,376 incidents were reported in 2019. This has increased since 2018 (1,854) and more than quadrupled since 2017 (540).

Unsurprisingly, 45% of these data breaches came from phishing scams. A cyber tactic that has grown hugely in popularity with criminals because of its success rate. In 2017, the ICO reported just 16 successful hacking attempts. Fast forward two years and this increased to 1,080 reported incidents.

Oz Alashe, CEO of Cybsafe, said:

“Staff can make a variety of mistakes that put their company’s data or systems at risk, often because they lack the knowledge or motivation to act securely, or simply because they accidently slip up.

“People also have an important role to play in helping to protect the companies they work for, and human cyber-risk can almost always be significantly reduced by encouraging changes in staff cyber awareness, behaviour and culture.”

Hardware misconfigurations and password attacks were also responsible for some breaches, but this can still be attributed to human error.

Encouraging employees to regularly change passwords and create strong complex passwords can help to keep cyber criminals at bay.

More information about phishing can be found here.