Data breaches in federal departments soar in 10 months

Here’s another sign of how bad network security is in the national capital: The federal government suffered more data breaches in the last 10 months than it has the the last 10 years, according to a report to Parliament.

A synopsis of the report was carried today by the Ottawa Citizen.

The large number of breaches for the 10-month period can be attributed to the Canada Revenue Agency reporting data breaches for the first time.

The Department of National Defence (DND) would not release data breach figures for the 10-month period covered by the report, saying releasing classified information would be a threat to national security.

During the period between April 1, 2013 and January 29, 2014, federal departments and agencies reported no less than 3,763 data breaches including incidents where taxpayers’ information were lost, compromised or mistakenly released, according to a report by the Privacy Commissioner’s Office. That figure is slightly higher than the 3,000 data breaches reported by the government in the last 10 years, according to the Citizen.

The federal government generally “does a good job” of protecting citizens’ personal data but there is still “room for improvement,” according to Anne-Marie Hayden, spokesperson for the privacy commissioner’s office.

Most recent figures show that the CRA reported 2,983 data breach incidents during the reporting period. About 120 of the cases stemmed from theft or loss of data or information being compromised.

Read the whole story here


Nestor E. Arellano
Nestor E. Arellano
Toronto-based journalist specializing in technology and business news. Blogs and tweets on the latest tech trends and gadgets.

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