Threat of data loss fines a spur for the security channel


Threat of data loss fines a spur for the security channel

Simon Quicke

The threat of fines of up to half a million pounds from the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) which came into force earlier this month are already causing phones to ring in the channel.

The ICO announced the planned fines in response to the continued number of high profile data leaks which were compromising data of individuals that found their credit cards and addresses had accidentally slipped into the public domain.

Even before the fines kicked in on 6 April the interest from customers had started to increase and those selling solutions to prevent data leaks have seen orders across the user base rising.

"If we look at our pipeline of business we are engaged in many projects and anybody dealing with credit card or sensitive customer information cannot afford to lose that type of information," said Andy Philpott, vice president of sales, UK and Ireland at Websense.

"We are seeing a lot of activity and right now there is a recognition that customers need to do something but they are asking where do they start?" he added. 

As well as the fines from the ICO there are also more potential money worries coming for those that get on the wrong side of the credit card data protection rules set down in the PCI.

Ian Kilpatrick, chairman of Wick Hill, said that far too many firms dealing with credit cards had not yet done anything to be ready for the potential fines that come into effect from September.

He echoed the experiences of Philpott and said the phones had been ringing as a result of ICO and users were very worried about it.

"PCI and ICO have gone from being toothless tigers to [bodies prepared to hand out fines]," he said.

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