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News

Sophos Comments On Zurich Insurance Data Loss Fine

Sophos : 25 August, 2010  (Technical Article)
The UK's FSA has levied a heavy fine on Zurich Insurance for sensitive data loss acting as a timely reminder to UK businesses of the potential costs of allowing sensitive information to be leaked
Jackie Groves, UK Head of Data Protection at Sophos commented today: "Today's news that Zurich Insurance has been fined £2.28 million by the FSA for losing customer details is a sharp reminder to other businesses and public sector organisations that they must behave more responsibly with the public's data or face the consequences. This huge financial slap on the wrists sends a very clear message that businesses must take data protection seriously and act now to put a solution in place before a data breach takes place. Sophos believes such steps are vital to ensure the worst breaches of the Data Protection Act are punished and protected against."

The FSA has said that this is the highest fine it has yet imposed for a data security breach and all organisations will be aware of the ICO's ability to impose fines of up to half a million pounds since April this year. As the volume of sensitive public data held by businesses continues to increase, companies will face tougher fines of this nature.

Sophos's advice to businesses concerned about data protection is that while the right software data protection solution is vital, effective data protection requires much more than just putting software in place. Software itself represents only part of the solution. Alongside this, it is key to put in place the right procedures and processes to protect the data, as well as educating users, across the organisation.

In July Sophos conducted a survey of almost 1,200 organisations that revealed deep concern about the robustness of the UK's current data protection legislation. Sophos's study discovered that nearly 50% of respondents feel that the laws are too relaxed and require revision, while a staggering 87% feel that organisations should be forced to disclose when sensitive data about the public is exposed. While almost 40% of businesses were confident they complied with the legislation, more than half were unsure or concerned about whether they were compliant.
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