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Why small British businesses need to be more concerned over the impact of a potential information breach
In this issue we will take an in-depth look at new insight into the security habits and attitudes of small and medium sized businesses operating in Britain.
The results from the independent survey – the Shred-it Information Security Tracker - conducted by Ipsos Reid and commissioned by Shred-it across Britain indicates that while small British business operators may understand the legal requirements of keeping information secure, many are failing to recognise the potentially devastating effects that a breach could have on their own business.
Given that the renowned Ponemon Institute estimates that a data breach costs, on average, £4.5 million to be put right1, the fact that half of all British businesses surveyed believe that their business would not be seriously impacted in the event that data from the company was lost or stolen. The unnerving fact however, is that if the correct procedures and protocols are not followed, a breach could very well occur to any business, be it large or small.
Ensuring that an organisation is compliant with legal requirements regarding data destruction policies is a basic necessity for any business but the research highlighted that that over a fifth (22 per cent) of firms classify themselves as either 'not at all aware' or 'not very aware' of their legal responsibility to keep secure confidential information relating to staff and customers.
So what can British organisations do to increase their awareness around legal data security policies? Some first steps to consider are:
In order to avoid the risk of a data security breach it is important that small organisations implement information security policies and protocols:
Ensuring that an organisation is compliant with legal requirements regarding data destruction policies is a basic necessity for any organisation and the research found that more than two thirds of British SMEs 68 per cent either never train their employees on company information security procedures and protocols (30 per cent), or do so only on an ad hoc basis (38 per cent).
Safeguarding data does not need to be an onerous task and there are simple steps any organisation of any size can take to minimise its risk factor. These include:
By taking such steps and regularly reviewing security policies, organisations large and small can protect themselves from the significant long-term impact of a data breach. If staff are not aware that there are policies and procedures in place, mistakes may occur, which could prove potentially fatal to the future of the business.
To learn more about Shred-it services or to book your FREE security assessment, visit the Shred-it website.
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