Data protection ‘set to become more of an issue’

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Businesses will have to formulate comprehensive data protection policies in order to safeguard their employees’ security.

The growing popularity of company smart phones means data protection will come to the fore as a business security priority in 2012.

This is the view of Kevin Wharram, independent IT security consultant, who noted that with an increasing number of people owning more devices, malware and data theft could become more common.

"The EU has proposed a new law, a European data directive, which actually states that they want to fine companies two per cent of their annual revenue in the event of data loss. So it’s a big issue now," he pointed out.

"We’re going to have the same problems we’ve had in previous years. Probably, because of more tablet devices, Android systems will be affected – there’s a lot of malware on Android phones and systems."

Even social networking sites can inadvertently add to the risk of data theft, such as through Facebook’s new timeline layout, meaning "the control of data is going to be a big issue", Mr Wharram said.

Meanwhile, the plans laid out by the European Commission governing data leaks have been met with varied responses by key industry figures and organisations.

The Confederation of British Industry, for example, has pointed out that further legislation on data loss could put the economic recovery in jeopardy, with Matthew Fell, director for competitive markets, telling info4security.com that it is important for businesses and consumers to be confident of their data protection rights.

"However, at a time when we should be boosting business confidence and encouraging innovation in digital services, these proposals will interfere with the relationship between businesses and their customers, and only add to costs," he claimed.

"We see no reason for such a radical overhaul when existing data protection legislation remains fit for purpose."

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