How can the public sector prevent data breaches?

You wouldn’t associate data breaches with Cambridge Analytica, Facebook and President Trump. But this “unholy trinity” has brought the rather dry topic of data breaches to the attention of the international media, political spectators and the ICO.

This blog is not to describe what and how it happened – let’s leave that to the journalists, politicians and commentators. This blog is to highlight the growing importance for organisations to understand what a data breach is, how to respond and even better; how to prevent one.

Why are data breaches becoming more of a problem for the public sector?

Public sector organisations, whether local authorities, hospitals or schools hold large volumes of personal data. Whether it be patient records or pupil registrations, you can be guaranteed that a public sector organisation holds personal data.

This dependency is growing, in part due to advances in technology and the move from paperless records to digital. More and records are becoming electronic and there will be a growing demand for there to be heightened data security.

The explosion of data means there will no doubt be more data breaches.

Did somebody say GDPR? For the first time in history, GDPR has made it a mandatory requirement for all organisations to report a data breach to the ICO, if an individual’s rights and freedoms are negatively affected.

This dispels the myth that GDPR requires the mandatory reporting of all data breaches, but poses the challenge for organisations to determine whether an individual’s rights and freedoms have been negatively affected.

The Nasty Side

I’m afraid anything to do with data and information governance, has a scary side to it. According to the Ponemon Institute’s 2017 Cost of Data Breach Study data breaches cost UK organisations £2.48 million. Severe data breaches can sometimes also result in disciplinary action and job losses.

Light at the end of a dark tunnel

Understanding ModernGov have delivered a range of information and data courses to help organisations understand and implement necessary regulation and to improve their information governance procedures.


Get involved in the conversation!

Has your organisation had any issues involving data breaches? Have you been affected by any data breaches?

We’d love to hear from you. You can tweet us using #UMGTraining @UModernGov.

If you would like to discuss any of the details you have read in this blog please contact us on 0800 542 9440 or email

Can’t make the date?

We can also run this course for you In-house, at your organisation or a venue of your choice, on a date to suit you.

Contact our In-house training team on or call 0800 542 9414 to find out more.