I want to report a possible data breach

A data breach is where the security of data/information is accidently or unlawfully compromised.

Examples of this could include:

  • Information/data (either electronic or hard-copy) that is either lost or stolen, or,
  • Information/data that has been unintentionally/accidently disclosed to the wrong individual(s)
  • Information/data that has been compromised because of a system failure
  • Information/data that has been compromised because of a system being unlawfully accessed (hacked)

How to report a possible data breach

If you become aware that information/data may have been compromised (as described above), then it is very important that you report it to the University as soon as possible. You should do this by using the Data Breach reporting form. You should also notify your Data Coordinator, who will be able to assist you with reporting the incident.

Why is it important that I report the possible data breach quickly?

It is very important that the University can determine what data/information might have been placed at risk because of the breach.

If the University is concerned that the breach may pose a risk to people’s rights and freedoms, then it MUST notify the Information Commissioner’s Office, within 72 hours of becoming aware of the incident, to remain compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

In the event of data/information being placed at risk, the University may need to put in place measures to protect it. This is more likely to be successful if we can take these actions quickly.

What happens after the possible breach has been reported?

The Information Security Team will work with the Data Coordinator in your School/Service to establish the further detail of the incident.

If the incident involves data/information relating to other individuals, then the University may need to inform these people of the possible breach. If the University has decided to notify the Information Commissioner’s Office of the breach, then we will need to pass on any further information to enable them to decide if any further action needs to be taken.

If the Information Security Team identify any measures that could be put in place to prevent something similar happening again, or, would have better protected the data/information held on the device, then it will take the necessary steps to put these in place.