It's not them, it's you! Human error causes more data breaches

While data breaches are increasing in number and scope year on year, two-thirds of breaches are caused due to human error.

A report released by Egress Software Technologies reveals that human error accounts for two-thirds of data breaches.

With cyber attacks on business sectors on the rise, the study found that over 66 per cent of business sectors saw a rise in data breaches over the last three years. Of these, insurance firms suffered a rise of 317 per cent in attacks , general businesses by 157 per cent, legal firms at 127 per cent and charity organisations by 109 per cent. However, healthcare firms have so far avoided such attacks and have registered an increase of just 13 per cent in data breaches.

VTech passes data breach buck to parents, claims no liability

Among contributing factors for data breaches, human error stands out for having accounted for over 62 per cent of all data breaches. Other factors like lack of security or hacking account for just 9 per cent of all data breaches combined.

“Human error and data breach incidents continue to go hand-in-hand. Time and again we’re faced with this reality and yet as today’s statistics show, little effective action seems to have been taken to improve the situation. Clearly at a board level, mistakes continue to be made as priorities aren’t balanced, leaving companies exposed,” said Tony Pepper, CEO at Egress Software Technologies.

An example of how companies do not own up to data breaches and intend to pass the buck is the recent hacking of toymaker VTech's unencrypted servers. After the hack compromised photos and audio recordings of over 6.4 million children and parents, VTech absolved itself of all liability, instead asking parents to take the blame. As per VTech's new terms and conditions, if any data stored in its servers is hacked or accessed illegally, the ones responsible will be those who put the data there and not VTech.

Hacked! Carphone Warehouse security breach compromises users’ private data

"You acknowledge and agree that any information you send or receive during your use of the site and any software or firmware downloaded therefrom is at your own risk. Recognising such, you understand and agree that ... neither VTech nor [its partners] or employees will be liable to you for any ... damages of any kind.

"You acknowledge and agree that any information you send or receive during your use of the site may not be secure and may be intercepted or later acquired by unauthorised parties," said VTech's terms and conditions.

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