New research has revealed that protection of confidential and private data by UK SMEs has declined in the last year. The research was commissioned by Shred-it, the UK destruction company, and shows that SMEs in the UK don’t believe that the loss of private data would cause them any problems. This is thought to be the reason why no precautions are taken against the loss of data.
Although loss of confidential data can result in huge fines and damage to a company’s reputation, 59.8 per cent of UK SMEs said that they didn’t think that the theft or loss of confidential data from their company would have any effect on business – an increase of 10 per cent against figures from 2011. The yearly Security Tracker report also revealed that 35.4 per cent of SMEs had no measures in place for the protection, disposal or storage of data which was confidential. The survey of 1004 SMEs in the UK was conducted by Ipsos Mori and also revealed a possible reason for the apparent disinterest among UK companies when it comes to data protection; almost a quarter of SMEs had no knowledge of the legal requirements for the storage and disposal of confidential data. For businesses not sure of data protection rules, a small business accountancy will have all the necessary information.
Conversely, 94 per cent of companies with more than 250 employees had knowledge of the Data Protection Act. The results of the survey indicate that much more needs to be done by SMEs to prevent breaches of data confidentiality.