ICO issues security guide aimed at small businesses

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The Information Commissioner’s Office releases a series of tips to help small businesses improve their data security strategies

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is tasked with the challenge of ensuring UK businesses and organisations are complying with the laws laid out by a number of legislative acts designed to protect the privacy of the general public, and this has proved especially important in the age of the internet.

Indeed, with the vast majority of companies in every sector thought to be taking steps to adapt to the online world, it is important for a regulatory body to ensure that both public and private firms have the necessary measures in place to properly protect any sensitive information that they store digitally.

And given that a number of data breach incidents in recent years has resulted in the ICO having to hand out fines to a range of offenders, the government body has now issued a set of guidelines designed to help small businesses secure their systems effectively.

"Since November 2010 the Information Commissioner’s Office has had to serve civil monetary penalties totalling over £1.5 million on organisations that failed to take the necessary measures to keep people’s information secure," said the Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham.

"This guidance is not just about minimising risk. Businesses that prioritise the safety of their customers’ personal data will have a real competitive advantage."

Keeping systems up to date and securing data on the move are both among the tips devised to aid businesses in the process of ensuring that their data protection strategies are efficient and comply with the law, and it also seems that this could help build on their productivity.

What’s more, with keeping an eye out for problems and making sure that people know what they’re doing when handling sensitive files also listed as important, it appears that regular checks and maintenance are the best way to guarantee that confidential information is not exposed.

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