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<a href="/news/as-data-breaches-rise-so-do-the-fines-collected" title="As Data Breaches Rise So Do the Fines Collected">As Data Breaches Rise So Do the Fines Collected</a>
Posted on: 18 Dec 2014 

Posted By: IT Wiser

As Data Breaches Rise So Do the Fines Collected


All eyes in the world of IT security are currently on Sony Pictures as the US-based company is struggling mightily to get a handle on a vicious cyber-attack that was launched weeks ago. Lost in all of the Sony news is a new report from the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) regarding the number of data breaches in the UK. These are up substantially over last year, along with the total amount in fines collected as a result. 

The ICO report was made available through a freedom of information request filed by Egress Software. Data from the report makes it obvious that both public and private sector organisations are finding it increasingly more difficult to deal with cyber threats. Especially alarming is the fact that much of the increase we have seen so far this year is directly related to human error. 

Here are some of the official numbers from the report: 

* healthcare organisations – data breaches up 101%
* private sector (generally) – data breaches up 143%
* telecom industry – data breaches up 150%
* insurance and pension industries – data breaches up 200%.

Egress Software CEO Tony Pepper said he is troubled by the numbers. He is especially concerned with the public sector because of the highly sensitive nature of the data they store and use. Where private sector businesses make use of data that is largely commercially driven, public sector entities store and use information that is far more personal. Having said that, the distinction between the two makes very little difference to the individual consumer whose information is stolen. 

Protect Your Business and Customers 

The fact that the number of data breaches is on the rise goes hand-in-hand with the fact that the Government fines organisations who end up being victimised. The fines are intended to serve as motivation to improve security standards that would better combat cyber-attacks. And make no mistake about it; the fines can be quite substantial. 

As an example, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust has been fined a total of £325,000 to date. That is just under a quarter of the total £1.3 million in fines assessed across the entire healthcare sector. Since 2010, the ICO has issued more than £6.7 million in fines to both public and private sector organisations. 

The question to ask yourself is whether your business can afford to be fined by the ICO after a security breach. It is bad enough that sensitive data might be compromised by such a breach, but having to pay a substantial fine on top of that might be more than your business can withstand. Take our word for it; it is not worth it. 

You owe it to your business and your customers to put as much as you possibly can into IT security. This includes things such as internal and external security checks, cloud antivirus software, cloud Web security, and mail security. The good news is that ITWiser offers all of the services and software products you need for the most secure cloud on the Internet. 

Do not risk a potentially damaging data breach involving your servers. Instead, do what is necessary to protect both your customers and your business. You do not have to be one of those organisations contributing to the statistical rise in data breaches.

The Register