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Insiders seen most at fault in data breaches

October 7, 2014

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — A new study says that most breaches of personal data in Europe over the past decade were due to errors and abuse committed by an organization’s employees, not hackers.

Researchers at the Central European University’s Center for Media, Data and Society found that 226 million personal records were compromised in 30 European countries since 2005, with Britain, Norway, Germany and Greece among those with the most cases.

The study’s author, Philip Howard, said 57 percent of the incidents reported were attributed to organizational errors, insider abuse or mismanagement, while “clear acts of theft” by hackers accounted for 41 percent of the breaches, with 2 percent unspecified.

The report also found that, in Europe, 56 personal records were compromised for every 100 Internet users.

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