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Human errors and cyberattacks – advice for victims

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Many fall into the trap of regarding human errors and cyberattacks as distinct causes of data breaches but, in many cases, they can be closely linked. In fact, human errors can leave data controllers vulnerable to cyberattacks. Where private information has been unjustly put at risk, the organisation responsible may have breached data protection law.

Unfortunately, third-party data controllers may try to blame their negligence on the increasing sophistication of cybercrime, but we believe that they must be held accountable for any mistakes. If you have fallen victim to a data breach as a result of the actions of a third party, you may be entitled to claim compensation for the harm caused.

Neither human errors nor cyberattacks should be brushed to the side as unfortunate accidents, and you deserve justice for the exposure of your personal data. Your Lawyers, as leading Data Leak Lawyers, are here to help you now.

The link between human errors and cyberattacks

Research has shown that cyberattacks are often provoked by human errors, with some figures in the UK indicating that more than half of attacks can arise from employee mistakes. While some cybercriminals use incredibly sophisticated tools and methods to break through security barriers, others are primed to take advantage of seemingly minor human slip-ups.

Any defence is only as good as its weakest link, and the weakest links are often the employees. For example, employees may inadvertently click on a malicious link sent to them, containing malware that then corrupts company computer systems upon opening. Phishing, though not technically advanced, also remains an effective form of cybercrime, as employees can be tricked into handing over private information to a sender they believe to be reputable.

These cyberattacks can cause the victims and the organisation itself real harm. A local authority cyberattack at Hackney City Council affected property purchases, causing residents to lose money, and it was rumoured that the Mayor of Hackney claimed that the attack could end up costing the council around £10m.

Data breaches caused by avoidable user errors 

Although human errors and cyberattacks are often causally linked, some data breaches can be caused by the ignorance of individual employees alone.

For example, we have represented clients for a number of data breaches involving simple, avoidable mistakes, such as the failure to anonymise the names and email addresses of recipients in a mass email, or the error of unintentionally uploading data to a public server rather than a private one. The 56 Dean Street Clinic case remains one of the most infamous cases of its kind.

Taking action against negligence

Regardless of the exact cause of a data breach, the underlying negligence of an organisation can be a significant problem that facilitates effective cyberattacks. Human errors cannot be described as one-off mistakes, as they are often representative of overall failings on the part of data controllers. Companies need to educate their employees on cybercrime risks and correct procedures to ensure that the threat of data breaches is minimised.

As long as companies continue to neglect their data protection duties, we are here to help those who have been adversely affected by the exposure of their personal data. If you have suffered the consequences of a data breach, you may be able to make a claim, so contact us to find out now how we can go about recovering the compensation you deserve.

IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.

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