Data breaches in Cambridgeshire: city dubbed it UK’s “data breach capital” of 2020
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Data breaches in Cambridgeshire: city dubbed it UK’s “data breach capital” of 2020

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An analysis of regional statistics for data breaches singled out Cambridgeshire as the region to suffer the sharpest peak in cybercrime incidents. Covering 20 regions of the UK for the period of 2016-18, the data from the Office for National Statistics reportedly led to Cambridgeshire being labelled the UK’s “data breach capital”, according to IT Pro. It is unclear why the number of data breaches in Cambridgeshire may have risen so significantly in this period.

Whilst Thames Valley reportedly recorded the highest number of attacks, Cambridgeshire was branded with the fastest rate of increases as well as the largest total for its population. The figures raise questions about why Cambridgeshire may have succumbed to so many data breaches in 2020, and what this peak tells us about general trends in cybercrime.

Your Lawyers, as leading specialists in data breach claims, are keen to see cyber threats being closely monitored. However, it is important that these statistics are used effectively as a way of pushing for improvements to cybersecurity and data protection policies. These figures should not just be meaningless numbers – they should be a means of holding data controllers accountable.

What are the regional data breach figures?

With a reported 49% increase in attacks over the course of a period of three years, data breaches in Cambridgeshire apparently rose from 2,789 incidents in 2016 to 4,155 in 2018, according to coverage from IT Pro. Whilst Thames Valley reportedly saw a huge 11,232 incidents per year on average, this figure is put into perspective when the “per capita figures” are compared. In 2018, Cambridgeshire is said to have suffered 63.7 cyberattacks per 10,000 people, whereas the Thames Valley region saw 48 per 10,000 people.

Why have data breaches in Cambridgeshire risen so sharply?

Without further analysis, it is hard to account for the huge increase in data breaches in Cambridgeshire specifically, but we could point to the makeup of the region in terms of its residents and economic character.

Cambridge was found to be the fastest-growing city in the UK in 2017, in large part due to businesses being attracted to the area. It also is understood to have a highly educated population, only falling behind Edinburgh for the number of residents with undergraduate degrees. This could mean that technology businesses are often found in the county, and these companies can represent highly valuable targets for cybercriminals. Cambridge’s world-renowned university is also a clear and obvious target, due to the sensitive information that they hold.

All of these factors may be contributing reasons as to the data breaches in Cambridgeshire, but the key takeaway is that organisations must take responsibility and rise to the challenge of the cyber threats they face.

Cyberattacks and data breach claims

Whilst organisations in Cambridgeshire have been hit with particularly high numbers of cyberattacks, this does not mean that they bear no responsibility for the harm caused. Where an organisation has failed to put defences in place to prevent cyberattacks, they can be responsible for any data exposure caused. If you have been by an incident like this, you may be entitled to pursue a data breach claim.

At Your Lawyers (t/a The Data Leak Lawyers), we have been representing clients for privacy matters since 2014, so we have the skills and expertise to assess and bring a variety of data breach claims. To find out more about your eligibility for a claim, you can contact our team today for free, no-obligation advice.

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