Approximately two-thirds of London’s citizens faced the threat of a potential data breach due to security failings in the capital’s 33 local authorities, according to new research.
A freedom of information (FOI) request was issued by identity management firm Secure Cloudlink to the 32 London Boroughs and the City of London authority to ascertain how well they protect their data.
The results revealed that 64% had experienced a data breach in the last four years, highlighting the challenges public sector departments face in managing digital information assets.
Cybercrime continues to remain an ongoing threat both to individuals and organisations. The Office of National Statistics (ONS) revealed that there have been more that 3.8 million incidents of cybercrime in the past year alone.
Despite Philip Hammond recently unveiling a £1.9 billion package designed to boost Britain’s defences against the growing threat of cybercrime, evidence suggests that a lot still needs to be done to mitigate this issue.
21 out of the 33 London authorities have reported a data breach in the past four years, including Barnet, Camden, Croydon, Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham, Wandsworth, Westminster and the City of London itself.
Bexley, Bromley, Ealing, Enfield and Haringey reported no breaches in the same timeframe. Kensington and Chelsea refused to disclose the information on the grounds of potential cyber-attacks, as did Hackney.
For residents concerned about potential data breaches of their online user accounts, not one council reported an incident in the past four years to their knowledge.
“The sheer number of councils that have been breached is astonishing and reveals the issue of security is more prevalent than ever,” said Mark Leonard, chairman at Secure Cloudlink. “There is a mass market for stolen data and hackers have become increasingly sophisticated in their tactics.
“Despite cyber security falling higher on the government’s agenda, the issue persists. Organisations need to be endlessly diligent when it comes to putting the correct procedures in place to alleviate the growing security risks.”