IT industry revealed as the least cyber-secure in the UK, according to data

The UK IT sector has the highest number of data breaches of any industry, with over 300,000 cybersecurity breaches in the past year alone.

And, with photo-sharing apps such as BeReal and Snapchat on the rise, the potential for severe data breaches when these apps are used at work is creating panic across many UK industries.

Interested in identifying the sectors most at risk, the experts at Scams.info used data from the 2022 Cyber Security Breaches Survey to identify the UK industries with the most cybersecurity breaches.

Key findings:

  • The information and communication (IT) industry is the least cyber-secure in the UK, hitting the top ranking with 320,060 data breaches in 2022, and a whopping 66.17 average breaches per employee.
  • The food and hospitality sector is the most cyber-secure, with 5,176 breaches60 times less than the IT industry.

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The UK industry with the most cybersecurity breaches in 2022

Rank Industry Average no. breaches per employee Number of data breaches in the past year
1 Information/communication 66.17 320,060
2 Finance/insurance 18.45 305,785
3 Retail/ wholesale (including vehicle sales and repairs) 11.51 183,500
4 Transport/storage 4.98 111,654
5 Education 8.04 106,365
6 Utilities/production 3.1 55,862
7 Construction 11.56 54,847
8 Professional, scientific/technical 0.51 8,370
9 Health, social care/social work 0.42 7,010
10 Entertainment, service/membership organisations 0.85 6,238
11 Administration/real estate 0.05 5,674
12 Food/hospitality 0.04 5,176

According to Scams.info, the information and communication (IT) industry is the least cyber-secure in the UK, with 320,060 data breaches in the past year. Equating to 66.17 average breaches per employee, IT employees are over 3 times as likely to suffer a cyber security breach than those in the finance and insurance industry (18.45 average breaches). This adds up to IT employees potentially suffering cyber breaches at least once per week each, on average.

Food and hospitality industry is the most cyber-secure

Scams.info also found that the food and hospitality industry is the most cyber-secure of all sectors observed, with only 5,176 data breaches in the past year, equating to a miniscule 0.04 breaches per employee. This is a 314,884 drop in data breaches when compared to the IT sector, and 498 fewer annual breaches than the administration and real estate sector in eleventh place.

Web development and cyber security expert Ledi Sallilari from the SEO consulting firm Reboot offered the following tips on the best ways businesses and employees can protect themselves from data breaches at work:

  • “For tech and remote-based industries, the importance of cyber-security training is invaluable. Implementing safe practices when working online can play a vital part in keeping the data of your company, clients and employees safe from attack. 
  • The main cause of online security breaches can be largely put down to human error. Avoid easily guess-able passwords that use identifying information (such as your dog’s name) and opt for the longest passwords possible. If there is an option for your password to be between 8-24 characters, go for 24.
  • Be aware of phishing attacks, and do not open any emails you do not recognise. Some hackers may even impersonate your boss, so it’s always best to double check directly with the alleged sender themselves before actioning anything from a suspicious email.”

Methodology

  1. Scams.info were interested in identifying the UK industry with the most cybersecurity breaches.
  2. To do so, government data was gathered from the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2022, which identifies cyber attack information for UK organisations.
  3. Information about the sectors, company sizes and number of data breaches in the past 12 months were collected.
  4. Data was then grouped by sector to produce the approximate total number of breaches, total number of employees and the average number of breaches per employee in that sector.
  5. Where the exact number of employees was missing, the median of the banded range was taken.
  6. The findings were then ranked according to the number of data breaches in the past year.
  7. Data was collected in December 2022 and is accurate as of then.

The full dataset can be found here. For any further information, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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