‘Reputational Damage’ the Biggest Security Concern for UK Public Sector

2 min read

LONDON and AMSTERDAM – 24 November 2020

Zivver, a challenger business in secure communications, today announced the results of a new survey investigating the data security challenges and privacy risks UK healthcare and local government organisations face when communicating and sharing information via email and file transfer.

Independently conducted by Opinion Matters, the ‘Secure communications in healthcare and local government 2020’ survey interviewed over 250 public sector professionals in the UK. Respondents included CISOs, Information Security Managers, CIOs, Data Protection Officers, Chief Privacy Officers, IT Security Compliance Managers, Chief Risk Officers, Business Continuity Managers and IT Directors working in the healthcare and local government sectors, in organisations employing 500+ people.

Key survey findings included:

  • When asked to name their biggest challenges in relation to outbound secure communications, 52% of all respondents cited ‘reputational damage’; 50% said ‘preventing data leaks’ and 49% identified ‘employee awareness on security’. ‘Fines’ were deemed a lesser concern at 19%.
  • In terms of data leak frequency, 82% of respondents said their organisation had experienced at least one data leak in the past 12 months, while 73% stated three or more. Comparing the two sectors for larger numbers of leaks, 11% of local government respondents were aware of 11-15 data leaks taking place in the last year: significantly higher than healthcare at 3%.
  • Regarding Covid-19’s impact on the security of outbound communications in public sector organisations, around one in three of all respondents said the pandemic brings additional vulnerabilities, requiring ongoing security changes. Further reflecting the high levels of uncertainty, especially by those at the top, 43% of IT leaders in local government said their organisation was ‘Less secure as a result of Covid-19’.

The findings of this survey indicate an urgent need for public sector organisations to review and update current security practices, requiring technology that is simple to introduce and use, to avoid disruption to employees’ productivity,” said Rick Goud, CIO and co-founder at Zivver.

“The secure communications technology we have developed works with existing email systems - such as Outlook (Desktop and Microsoft 365) and Gmail – meaning that employees do not need to change their usual ways of working. It also provides non-intrusive alerts to support employees in making the right decisions when handling sensitive information, helping them to avoid making the most common types of data leaks such as emailing the wrong person or using ‘CC’ instead of ‘BCC’. This is critical as such leaks can be costly to public sector organisations - due to non-compliance with the GDPR and DPA, for example – and can also cause harmful reputational damage."

Read full survey

About Zivver

Zivver’s mission is to help organisations safeguard their sensitive data, while ensuring regulatory compliance and preventing human error data leaks. Zivver optimises safe communication and productivity by adding a security and privacy layer on top of organisations’ existing email systems, such as Outlook (Desktop and Microsoft 365) and Gmail. Founded in 2015 by CIO Rick Goud, Zivver has grown to over 110 employees and 3,500 organisations as customers, including 40% of Dutch hospitals and local government and the entire Dutch Judicial System. Zivver has recently been awarded a place on the G-Cloud 12 Framework, as an approved supplier of Cloud Software services, as well as on the NHSX Clinical Communication Tools Procurement Framework, in partnership with Barrier Networks. To date, Zivver has raised over $30 million in funding via DN Capital, henQ capital, Dawn Capital and SmartFin, supplemented by an innovation credit from ABN AMRO Bank.

For more information visit https://www.zivver.com and follow them on Twitter (@ZIVVER_EN) and LinkedIn.


UK media contact: 

  • Sally Bratton
  • Bratton PR                                                                   
  • sally.bratton@brattonpr.com                                     
  • +44(0)7930 301601                            
Written by

Sally Bratton

Originally published on November 24, 2020

Last update on February 11, 2021