Data breaches are everywhere. While these are treated commonly with minor firms or individuals, government agencies failing to protect their citizen’s data isn’t that acceptable. Here’s an eye-opener from CBC, revealing the number of data breaches happened with 10 government agencies over a two year period. An 800-page document revealed 7,992 data breaches exposing 144,000 citizens’ personal information.
Canadian Broadcasting Channel (CBC) reported the answers from an order paper question, that was filed by Conservative MP Dean Allison last month. The document he received was of 800-page long contained data breach details of over 10 government agencies from January 1st 2018 to December 10th 2019.
The findings were amazing as it’s led by Canada’s Revenue Agency with 3,005 breach incidents affecting around 60,000 individuals. The agency blamed these unfortunate events are due to employees misconduct, misdirect emails and other security incidents. Etienne Biram, CRA spokesperson said,
“Two-thirds of the total individuals affected were as a result of three unfortunate but isolated incidents.”
More intriguing that, few incidents of those breaches led CRA employees to access the data of thousands of individuals, but there’s no evidence of exploiting anything. All those individuals weren’t notified about the breach as CRA considered the incident is of “low important.”
CRA is followed by Health Canada with 122 breaches affecting near 24,000 individuals, Department of National Defense with 170 breaches affecting 2,273 individuals. Highest breaches after CRA were witnessed in Employment and Social Development of Canada and Immigration departments where 1,421 and 3,005 breaches reported with 3,586 and 4,268 individuals being affected.
Interestingly, the CBC itself was affected with 17 breaches with personal information of 20,000+ individuals being affected. Other agencies as Canada Post, Environment and PHAC too were affected with significant breaches letting personal info of thousands of people being exposed.
Speculation is that the numbers exposed in the document could be far below than actual. And with Daniel Therrien, Privacy Commissioner of Canada trails of pushing government agencies to be more transparent and timely in reporting security breaches, we may learn about the actual figures.
Source – CBC