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SME's 'ignoring the potential impact data loss or theft could have on their business'

Fresh Business Thinking has reported on the number of small and medium sized enterprises (SME’s) that are ‘ignoring the potential impact data loss or theft could have on their business.’

Shred-It, the confidential waste-disposal company, found that of 1,000 UK business looked at, 68% of SME’s either ‘do not train their staff on information security procedures (30 percent) or only do so as and when required (38 percent)’.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) introduced new rules in 2010, allowing companies to be fined up to £500,000 for breaching the Data Protection Act – a ruling that should have encouraged businesses to take action against data loss.

Over half (58 percent) of businesses [researched] admitted that they were completely unaware of the ICO’s increased power.

Robert Guice, executive vice president of Shred-it, said; “Ignorance is no defence in the eyes of the law and UK businesses need to wake up quickly to the fact that failures to store and dispose of confidential information in a secure manner could have far-reaching and potentially financially damaging impacts upon their operations.”

Phil Orford, CEO of the Forum of Private Businesses, said, “It’s time companies got wise to the seriousness of data theft and the importance of protecting their information. Quite apart from the implications for the commercial viability of a business, failing to secure data properly could lead to a potentially huge fine.”