I noted on the BBC Web site this week and across other news bulletins that the Government has introduced new legislation enabling the Information Commissioner’s Office to issue fines of up to £500,000 for serious data security breaches.
This new rule is expected to come into force in the UK on 6th April 2010 and is a deterrent to try and stop employees from leaving laptops on trains or CDs in the back of taxis that contain sensitive public information after a number of very public and embarrassing high level incidents over the last couple of years.
It can happen so easily – and to anyone! Which I find ridiculous, because for as little money as it costs to install anti-virus software on your laptop, you can install encryption software and protect your organisation not only from a data breach but also against any backlash.
It is irritating and upsetting enough when you lose a mobile phone or a laptop but devastating for some if you haven’t encrypted the data and your latest customer database and/or sales forecast ends up in the hands of the competition.
We’ve been in the encryption market for over 20 years and over this time we have witnessed all kinds of incidents and I would say that in most cases, in fact in almost every case, these breaches could have been prevented.
Technology is part of everyday life. Protecting your data and company confidential information should be a matter of course and part of an organisation’s daily routine – whether private or public sector. For under £50, a business user can purchase data encryption software and reinforce their security and personal liability.
About time I say. I applaud the Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham and concur with his press statement. Data encryption is now quick, easy to use, inexpensive and painless to implement – so if you have metaphorically been caught with your trousers down, and you’ve not taken adequate steps to protect your data – watch out. Not only will it be highly embarrassing but a hefty fine could be coming your way.