Staggering new statistics have just been released showing that data breaches are becoming a lot more frequent, according to a survey by Experian. Because large and medium-sized UK businesses look like they are grossly underprepared for the aftermath of a breach in security, they could now face hefty fines.
SMBs and big companies could be fined between them a total of around £20 billion if it is proved that they are not adequately protecting customers from breaches in data. This could happen very soon as new data protection regulations are being rolled out across the EU.
Around 17% of firms have lost client information that is deemed confidential at least once over the last 24 months. Of the companies surveyed, over 50% had experienced more than one breach.
The changes will raise the financial and reporting requirements of companies by a significant amount. With businesses relying more and more on new technology, and cyber-criminals getting more sophisticated in their methods, it has been obvious for quite some time that changes were needed.
Affinity Experian MD Amir Goshtai said: “The introduction of EU Data Protection Regulation, expected to come fully into force within the next three years, will fundamentally and dramatically alter the data breach landscape.
“Even in the absence of a strict notification law at this time, it is well within companies’ best interest to put preventative measures and plans in place now. The enterprises that stay ahead will be those who focus on protecting their customers.”
Companies facing the possibility of heavy fines should consult with their software and telecommunications provider to find a solution in what looks to be a veritable minefield of regulations. According to the survey, client loyalty to a company would be greatly affected and overall trust would decrease if personal information were compromised.
Amir Goshtai described the new regulations as a “stark wake-up call for UK business.”