Clearswift Government Communications 2.0

A state government that “doesn’t know whether its agencies have adequate information security measures in place.” 1.6 million patients’ records lost at a dump. A 650 per cent spike in federal network security breaches.1
Another day, another public sector data breach, or so it seems. No one sets out to lose data, but as news of sensitive data loss from public sector organisations becomes an all-too-regular occurrence, public trust is being steadily eroded. A recent YouGov Trust Index poll conducted in the UK found that only 48 per cent of respondents trusted the public sector with their private data; 28 per cent of those surveyed gave the public sector a score of three or less (out of seven) when it came to trust levels.2 To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, losing sensitive data once may be regarded as a misfortune; to do so again looks like plain carelessness. At a time when public agencies are under increasing pressure to adhere to the often competing demands of transparency, cost-effectiveness, privacy and collaboration, data loss incidents are in danger of undermining many of the public sector’s e-government achievements. The ramifications of a data leak is also a board level concern with reputational damage to the organisation being top (31%) and followed by financial consequences (20%).