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News

Information Commissioner report signals requirement for new approach

Accellion : 27 May, 2009  (Technical Article)
Accellion comments on the need for an improved approach to data security in UK public sector organisations after report from the Information Commissioner's Office
From January to April this year, a total of 140 security breaches were reported within the NHS and in the last six months alone, the Information Commissioner has been forced to take action against 14 NHS bodies for breaching data regulations. Also, recently, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has found the British Council in breach of the Data Protection Act after the loss of an unencrypted computer disc. Details lost include sensitive personal information relating to trade union membership of over 2,000 members of staff. As a result, the British Council has now signed a formal undertaking of reasonable measures to keep personal information secure in future. These include ensuring that all portable and mobile devices, which are used to store and transmit personal information, must be encrypted with immediate effect.

These continued instances of stolen CDs, lost laptops and missing memory sticks all indicate that the UK Government isn't thinking strategically about its data security, according to Paul Steiner, MD of Accellion, the secure file transfer specialist.

Paul believes that despite the greater demands for transparency and the increasing compliance regulation such as CoCo (Code for Compliance which all UK local authorities now need to meet), the public sector's poorly policed security policies means that the Government must think smarter about how data is transferred securely between users.

He argues that the UK Government needs to fundamentally change the way it moves data - replacing CDs and memory sticks with secure, managed systems which routinely encrypt sensitive and large files, bypass email systems to prevent users working round security measures and giving users a full file auditing and tracking capability.

Paul's comments were made following Accellion's recognition as providing the highest level of data security to government agencies, marked by its success in the Best Security Solution (Government category) at the recent Global Product Excellence Awards given by Info Security Products Guide, the highly regarded US security industry publication.
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