Cyber: Which Councils Suffer Most Data Breaches?

VPNOverview sent out an FOI request to 103 county councils across the UK, to discover which had the most private data breaches within their organisations. Overall, the UK’s councils saw a total of 33,645 human caused data breaches in the last five years. But which council was the ‘worst’?

Most amount of breaches

The FOI request revealed the council with the most breaches to be Hampshire County Council, with 3,759 in the last five years. Their worst year to date was between 2018 to 2019, recording 902 breaches.


Total data breaches

Hampshire County Council


Gloucestershire County Council


Lancashire County Council


Warwickshire County Council


East Sussex County Council


Norfolk County Council


Oxfordshire County Council


Suffolk County Council


North Yorkshire County Council


Wiltshire Council


West Sussex County Council


Surrey County Council


Cambridgeshire County Council


East Riding of Yorkshire Council


Cheshire East Council


The second ‘worst’ was Gloucestershire County Council, with 2,723 since 2016. The council also saw the largest increase too, from 90 between 2016 to 2017, to 1,004 between 2020 and 2021 – a 1016% increase in just five years. The FOI request found Lancashire County Council to rank the third worst council in the country for data breaches. The details showed that the council recorded 1,260 breaches overall, but did not have data available for between 2016 to 2017. So, whilst the data doesn’t specify, it could mean the councils 106% increase since 2016 could actually be much higher.

Least amount of breaches

Not every council was found to be experiencing such a high number of breaches. VPNOverview’s FOI request revealed two councils to have recorded single digit numbers of breaches.


Total data breaches

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council


Mid and East Antrim Borough Council


Derry City and Strabane District Council


Mid Ulster District Council – Dungannon


Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council saw four data breaches since 2016, with an even split between 2016 to 2017 and 2019 to 2020.  Mid and East Antrim Borough Council saw six data breaches in the last five years. Five occured between 2018 to 2019, and just one breach between 2019 to 2020.

Biggest decrease in breaches

The results showed Essex County Council seeing the biggest change, with an 86% decrease in breaches over the last five years. From 135 between 2017 to 2018, to 19 breaches between 2020 to 2021.

VPNOverview’s analysis found Central Bedfordshire Council recorded a dip in their average 55 breaches a year – down to 35 breaches recorded between 2020 to 2021 – a 36% decrease.

The full report highlights all the details,

About alastair walker 11342 Articles
20 years experience as a journalist and magazine editor. I'm your contact for press releases, events, news and commercial opportunities at Insurance-Edge.Net

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