Reports have been made by the Information Commissioner's Office of an increase in the number of data breaches during the last three months.

The privacy watchdog claimed that 99 incidents have been reported in the public and private sector during the period from November 2008 to the end of January 2009. This compares to 277 breaches reported in the previous 12 months.


Dave Martin, managing security consultant at Logica claimed that these figures could be lowered by mandatory policies being put in place.


Martin said: “Clear security policies backed with an effective staff awareness programme is vital to reducing this loss. Security should not be the sole responsibility of the IT department; it is a boardroom issue and the focus must be to protect the trust that clients have in an organisation.


“If you have experienced a data breach, it is essential to conduct a risk assessment to understand the issue and avoid a reoccurrence. All organisations must put in place mandatory policies which enable compliance with legal requirements and establish comprehensive security controls and policies throughout the organisation coupled with a training awareness programme.”