Data loss could be ruinous

A warning that Sheffield area companies could be hit by crippling fines and have their reputations ruined for losing confidential data even when it isn’t their fault and no harm resulted from the loss was issued today by an IT expert.

In the first eleven months of 2012, twenty organisations in the UK have been fined a total of £2.4m for data losses and many other companies are at risk, says Charles Kavazy, Director of IT Services at Sheffield based independent chartered accountants and specialist business advisers Hawsons, of Glossop Road.

He adds: “In almost all of the cases, nobody was harmed by the loss but the reasons the fines were so high is because the Data Protection Act states that organisations need to ensure a level of security for their data appropriate to the harm that might result from data loss. The fines are based, therefore, not on the harm or loss or damage that has occurred but the harm or loss or damage which might occur.”

“Another misconception”, Charles says, “is that if another company loses your information, the responsibility rests with that company. This is incorrect.”

“If, for example, one of your outsourced IT, pension, health or other providers loses your data, it is you who will be fined by the Information Commissioner’s Office and not your outsourced supplier. It is your responsibility to ensure that your suppliers apply a level of security appropriate to the harm that might result from any loss.”

If you feel you might be at risk from data loss and would like help in mitigating the risk, contact Charles on 0114 266 7141 or e-mail: ck@hawsons.co.uk

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