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Data audits should be welcomed by UK Businesses

The ICO’s Christopher Graham yesterday announced that “businesses should be more willing to undergo data protection audits”, following the ICO’s annual report. The report confirmed suspicions that “private companies reported the most data security breaches of any sector in 2010/11”.

Of 603 data security breaches reported to the ICO in 2010/11, 186 – almost a third – occurred in the private sector. Despite this, just 19% of businesses contacted by the ICO accepted the offer to undergo free data protection audits. In contrast, 71% of public sector organisations who were contacted voluntarily agreed to be audited.

“Lenders, general businesses and direct marketing companies account for almost a third of total complaints to the ICO, and businesses were the top sector for reporting data security breaches to us last year. Despite this, many of them are still resisting our offer to undergo audits. We’ve written to organisations we consider to be high risk but the response has been disappointing.

“These audits are not about naming and shaming those who are getting it wrong. The fact that a company has undergone a consensual audit should count as a badge of honour, showing that the business takes data security seriously. After all, sound data protection practices are irrevocably linked to providing good customer service.”

Although the ICO offers this free basic audit service, which highlights problem areas that need fixing, DataWise by Absolute Data can solve these problems in a cost effective, hassle free way.

To find out more about Absolute Data and DataWise call us now on 01423 790125, or email us at info@absolute-data.co.uk