Breach, Data Security, Threat Management

Local authorities say data breaches are ‘accidents waiting to happen’

Local authorities hold sensitive and private information about all of us that we wouldn't want getting into the hands of the wrong people.


Over half of all records and information managers at local authorities in the UK feel that security breaches are “accidents waiting to happen” due to time pressure and resource constraints.


New research from Iron Mountain studied senior managers and records and information professionals at local authorities across the UK to understand the current challenges they face and the impact these challenges have on information management and security.


Two-thirds of senior managers believe inadequate information management will cause a significant data breach sooner rather than later. For 71 percent of senior managers, budget cuts present the main threat to the quality of information management and security.


A third of senior managers and information management pros agree that excessive demands from central government (37 percent), a lack of staff (36 percent), time constraints (32 percent) and internal bureaucracy (31 percent) present the main barriers to effective information management.


Some 57 percent of records and information managers say they have only seconds to handle documents that include invoices, legal and HR files. Meanwhile, 61 percent admit there aren't enough staff to cope with the volume of information moving in and out of their organisation.


Half of records and information managers admit that the number of incidents involving poor information management has grown over the past 12 months. Nearly a third of record managers said that up to a fifth of their information has been adequately managed over the past 12 months due to organisational pressure and change.


“It's not enough to have clear information security and management policies and processes in place. Communication is key to ensure widespread adoption and encourage the implementation of information management best practice across all departments. Policy and processes need to reflect changes in regulations and internal processes, with these updates communicated clearly to all staff,” said Phil Greenwood, director at Iron Mountain.

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