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News

Data Protection Stakes Rise as ICO fixes data breach penalties at up to half a million pounds

PGP (GB) : 14 January, 2010  (Technical Article)
With the Information Commissioners Office getting tougher on data breach cases and the cost of data loss already standing at an average of £60 per record, organisations must do something to stem the loss of data or the costs could spell closure
The Information Commissioners Office announced that from the 6th April 2010, it is expecting to have the power to issue fines of up to £500,000 as a penalty for serious breaches of the Data Protection Act.

Jamie Cowper, Director of European Marketing at data encryption firm PGP Corporation, has made the following comments:

"With 70 percent of UK firms admitting they were hit by at least one data breach last year, the ICO should have no shortage of businesses to fine. Furthermore, with the number of companies falling victim to breaches rising year on year, it's clear that more needs to be done to motivate companies with weak security strategies to shape up. A threat of a half a million pound fine is a powerful motivator.

"The cost of data breaches is already staggeringly high for UK businesses; last year the average breach cost £1.7 million pounds, or £60 for each identity lost. If the ICO's bite turns out to be as big as its bark, this cost could exceed £2 million; a huge expense at a time when businesses and public sector bodies can ill afford to waste money.

"Organisations that want to avoid these massive financial penalties must look to implement watertight data protection strategies, employing proven technologies such as data encryption to ensure that confidential information is locked down. It is only by doing so that companies can be sure that their customers, reputations and profits are protected."
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