A former council worker in the district of William Shakespeare’s birthplace has been cautioned for accessing databases containing residents’ information to promote a business, resulting in a data breach involving approximately 79,000 email addresses [2].


The breach affected both Stratford-on-Avon District Council and Warwick District Council [2], with the stolen data used for unauthorized purposes [2]. The employee [1] [3], who is no longer with the council, has since deleted the email addresses and was cautioned under the Data Protection Act 2018 [1]. Law enforcement issued only a caution [2], and the Information Commissioner’s Office was notified but did not pursue further action [2]. Both councils have emphasized that the breach was an isolated incident and have taken steps to address the issue and ensure data protection measures are in place [2]. Security experts highlight the risks posed by malicious insiders and stress the importance of fostering a strong security culture, providing regular training, and ensuring that employees understand the consequences of data misuse. They also note that financial uncertainty can incentivize employees to take risks, underscoring the need for employers to show empathy, offer support, and provide security awareness training for staff [1].


The breach underscores the importance of robust data protection measures and the need for organizations to address internal security risks. By fostering a strong security culture, providing regular training, and offering support to employees, organizations can mitigate the risks posed by malicious insiders. Moving forward, it is crucial for employers to prioritize security awareness and ensure that employees understand the consequences of data misuse to prevent similar incidents in the future.


[1] https://ciso2ciso.com/insider-steals-80000-email-addresses-from-district-councils-source-www-infosecurity-magazine-com/
[2] https://rodinanews.co.uk/news/uk-councils-sneaky-insider-steals-79k-email-addresses-the-register/334601/
[3] https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/insider-steals-80000-emails/