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Where is the
data breach
capital of the UK?

In 2019, 32% of UK businesses identified cyber security breaches, with attacks costing them an average of £4,180 each year.

We analysed ONS data over the past three years, looking at the increase or decrease in cyber crime in counties across the UK, in addition to the average number of cases per year in each area. Click around the map to find out who the data breach capital of the UK is.

Cambridgeshire

Rank: 1

Home to one of the most famous universities in the world, Cambridgeshire is the data breach capital of the UK, with a massive 49% rise in cyber crime over the last three years.

Increase in cybercrime over the last three years: 49%

Average number of cases per year: 3,649

North Wales

Rank: 2

Boasting vast expanses of nature trails and waterfalls, not to mention Snowdonia National Park, who would have thought North Wales would have been a hotspot for cybercrime?

Increase in cybercrime over the last three years: 47%

Average number of cases per year: 2,678

Cumbria

Rank: 3

Bordering Scotland, Cumbria is the most north-western county in England - and one of the least populated too, with just under half a million residents.

Increase in cybercrime over the last three years: 40%

Average number of cases per year: 1,777

Thames Valley

Rank: 4

Also referred to as England's version of Silicon Valley due to the high number of tech companies in the area, it's perhaps unsurprising that Thames Valley features fourth on our data breach capital list.

Increase in cybercrime over the last three years: 38%

Average number of cases per year: 11,232

Norfolk

Rank: 5

A largely rural area, Norfolk boasts six Blue Flag beaches, and the protected Broads area, which is a network of lakes and rivers.

Increase in cybercrime over the last three years: 37%

Average number of cases per year: 3,733

Nottinghamshire

Rank: 6

The data breach capital of the East Midlands, in 2017, Notts City Council were fined 70,000 for exposing the personal information of 81 vulnerable people online.

Increase in cybercrime over the last three years: 35%

Average number of cases per year: 4,647

Suffolk

Rank: 7

Of all the data breaches in Suffolk, Suffolk County Council have had the highest number, closely followed by Ipswich Borough Council.

Increase in cybercrime over the last three years: 33%

Average number of cases per year: 2,918

Bedfordshire

Rank: 8

Close to London, Bedfordshire has plenty of stately homes, and walking and cycling trails to explore. Over half of the county's population live in Bedford and Luton.

Increase in cybercrime over the last three years: 31%

Average number of cases per year: 2,606

Leicestershire

Rank: 9

Both Charnwood Borough Council and Leicester City Council caused data breaches, revealing addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of some people living in the area.

Increase in cybercrime over the last three years: 31%

Average number of cases per year: 4,137

North Yorkshire

Rank: 10

North Yorkshire Police are in the top 10 for forces with the highest number of breaches. Additionally, in 2019, over 4,400 students at the University of York were targeted in a data hack.

Increase in cybercrime over the last three years: 29%

Average number of cases per year: 4,137

West Yorkshire

Rank: 11

Made up of Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield, Kirklees and Calderdale, West Yorkshire has a population of 2.2 million people, and is home to eight universities.

Increase in cybercrime over the last three years: 29%

Average number of cases per year: 7,599

Merseyside

Rank: 12

One of the newest counties in the country, Merseyside was created in 1974. With a population of 1.38 million, Liverpool is the largest city in the county.

Increase in cybercrime over the last three years: 27%

Average number of cases per year: 4,563

Kent

Rank: 15

In 2019, Kent County Council disclosed the names and email addresses of 300 adoptive parents; resulting it to be named as the joint-worst local council for data breaches.

Increase in cybercrime over the last three years: 25%

Average number of cases per year: 8,512

Warwickshire

Rank: 16

Located in the West Midlands, the county is probably most known for Warwick Castle. In 2019, the University of Warwick was hit with multiple data breaches - many of which were hidden from students and staff.

Increase in cybercrime over the last three years: 24%

Average number of cases per year: 2,664

Greater Manchester

Rank: 17

With a population of 2.8 million, it's the third largest county in England, after London and Birmingham. In 2019, year 7 students at two Manchester schools suffered from data breaches.

Increase in cybercrime over the last three years: 23%

Average number of cases per year: 10,712

South Yorkshire

Rank: 18

One of South Yorkshire's biggest data breaches this year was the exposure of 8.6 million car journeys in Sheffield, enabling people to search the Automatic Number Plate Recognition system without needing a password.

Increase in cybercrime over the last three years: 23%

Average number of cases per year: 4,152

Dorset

Rank: 20

Located on the coast of the English Channel, Dorset is well-known for its varied landscape, including its clay valleys, limestone ridges, and chalk downs. However, even rural areas can't escape from data breaches.

Increase in cybercrime over the last three years: 22%

Average number of cases per year: 3,295

Cleveland

Rank: 19

In 2018, Cleveland Police accidentally published personal details including the names, ethnicities and date of births of over 1,600 people they'd restrained. They claimed the breach was down to 'human error.'

Increase in cybercrime over the last three years: 22%

Average number of cases per year: 1,598

West Midlands

Rank: 13

With an average of more than 10,000 data breaches in a year, West Midlands Police are amongst the culprits, having breached data 24 times in one year alone.

Increase in cybercrime over the last three years: 27%

Average number of cases per year: 10,351

Humberside

Rank: 14

The former county of Humberside, an area which includes Hull, Grimsby and Scunthorpe has seen a 26% increase in cybercrime in recent years, making it the 14th worst place for data breaches across the country.

Increase in cybercrime over the last three years: 26%

Average number of cases per year: 3,288