ICO ‘turning up the heat’ on data breaches

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Information Commissioner’s Office has issued 68 warning notices for data security lapses in the year to June 3rd

With a growing focus on the need for online security in the face of the financial risks associated with compromising electronic banking details, it appears that the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has stepped up the intensity of its attempts to improve data protection practices.

As the latest figures show, the ICO issued 68 warning notices for data security lapses between June 2011 and June 2012 – a 48 per cent increase on the number that it imposed in the previous year.

And having dished out £1.8 million worth of fines in the past 12 months – up from £431,000 in the preceding year – it seems that the ICO is intent on establishing a strong deterrent that ensures firms place an appropriate emphasis on protecting their sensitive records.

"The ICO is turning up the heat against data breaches," said Mark Dunleavy, managing director at Informatica. "With more warnings and fines issued for data security lapses than ever before, the writing is on the wall for businesses that are failing to keep their data under lock and key."

Given that worldwide organisations from the likes of Google to public bodies such as the NHS Torbay Care Trust have all had a brush with the ICO in recent months, the need for all companies – large and small – to take data security seriously has been well demonstrated.

So as businesses set about shoring up their systems and implementing the necessary measures, secure document storage is a possible solution that is indicative of a proactive approach to protecting files and avoiding confidential details falling into the wrong hands.

What’s more, given that there are reputational consequences alongside the legal implications of allowing sensitive information to be exposed, an organisation’s long-term survival could depend upon its ability to protect its data sufficiently and defend againt cyber criminals.

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