Increasing nervousness around GDPR has been cited for a huge spike in the number of companies reporting data security incidents to the Information Commissioner’s Office, with the latest figures showing a 29% rise from Q1 to Q2, and a year-on-year increase of over 490%.
The ICO has revealed that while 3,146 incidents were reported between April and June this year, the number rose to 4,056 for the three months to the end of September, equivalent to nearly 340 a week.
According to an analysis carried out by Egress Software Technologies, the biggest rise in reported incidents came from the media sector (633%), with general business (87%), legal (63%), transport and leisure (57%) and finance (49%) also witnessing significant increases.
During the period, the ICO slapped Equifax with the maximum £500,000 fine for its 2017 breach, private healthcare provider Bupa was hit for £175,000 and Emma’s Diary was stung with a £140,000 penalty.
The value of fines increased 24% in the year to September 30 versus the previous year, to reach nearly £5m.
In September, the regulator said it had been receiving over 500 calls a week to its helpline since GDPR came into force, although it added that a third were either unnecessary or failed to meet the threshold for a data incident.
Egress chief executive Tony Pepper said: “The increased awareness for organisations to tread carefully has been fuelled by GDPR, as well as the significant data breach incidents that recognisable brands have suffered.”
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