In-depth

Top 10 most embarrassing data breaches

Inspired by a notable security gaffe at BP, we give our rundown of the most embarrassing data breaches in recent memory.

Every data breach brings the risk of embarrassing not only the company involved but also those whose information is compromised.

All too often we see breaches where truly sensitive data, such as medical information, is leaked, harming the organisation's reputation and infringing people's privacy simultaneously.

As a case in point, this week BP was guilty of losing a laptop containing personal data on around 13,000 claimants from the disastrous Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010.

Given the furore surrounding the oil spill, that particular loss was made all the more embarrassing for the firm.

Inspired by such epic gaffes, we've drawn together the 10 most mortifying breaches in recent memory.

10. First ICO fines

There have been far worse breaches than those that occurred at Hertfordshire County Council and employment services company A4e last year.

The reason why these two have been included in the list (making it a top 11 really) is that they were the first to be punished with an Information Commisioner's Office fine.

The anticipation in the lead up to the ICO's first monetary punishments meant whoever was forced to pay up would be left blushing.

Admittedly, their errors were fairly shaming in themselves. The council was reprimanded for two serious incidents when employees faxed highly sensitive personal information to the wrong recipients.

A4e had an unencrypted laptop stolen, which contained personal data on 24,000 people who had used community legal advice centres in Hull and Leicester.

If and when the ICO hands out the maximum 500,000 fine, the guilty organisation can expect to be even more shamefaced.

Featured Resources

The ultimate law enforcement agency guide to going mobile

Best practices for implementing a mobile device program

Free download

The business value of Red Hat OpenShift

Platform cost savings, ROI, and the challenges and opportunities of Red Hat OpenShift

Free download

Managing security and risk across the IT supply chain: A practical approach

Best practices for IT supply chain security

Free download

Digital remote monitoring and dispatch services’ impact on edge computing and data centres

Seven trends redefining remote monitoring and field service dispatch service requirements

Free download

Recommended

ICO launches AI risk assessment toolkit for businesses
Information Commissioner

ICO launches AI risk assessment toolkit for businesses

21 Jul 2021
What is the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)?
Information Commissioner

What is the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)?

15 Jul 2021

Most Popular

Best Linux distros 2021
operating systems

Best Linux distros 2021

11 Oct 2021
Apple MacBook Pro 15in vs Dell XPS 15: Clash of the titans
Laptops

Apple MacBook Pro 15in vs Dell XPS 15: Clash of the titans

11 Oct 2021
HPE wins networking contract with Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games
Network & Internet

HPE wins networking contract with Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

15 Oct 2021