70 per cent of organisations hit by data breaches

Data breaches are still a serious problem in Britain, with 70 per cent of enterprises and public sector organisations hit by at least one in the past year.

This is an increase from last year, where only 60 per cent said they had suffered a breach. The figures were taken from a PGP Corporation commissioned study carried out by the Ponemon Institute.

Over one in ten (12 per cent) admitted to a staggering five or more data loss incidents in the past twelve months, up from three per cent in 2008.

Yet less than half (43 per cent) of these breaches were publicly announced, with organisations not requiring to publicly disclose the other 57 per cent.

The public sector suffered the most data breaches with an average of 4.48 incidents per organisation. Financial services (3.11 incidents) and the education sector (2.74 incidents) were second and third.

The survey revealed the importance of encryption, with organisations that had implemented it faring much better than those that didn't.

None of the organisations suffering five or more data breaches had any kind of encryption, while a third of companies that reported no data losses had enterprise-wide encryption in place.

The study looked at 615 UK based IT and business managers, analysts and executives.