There should be compulsory checks to make sure that companies and government departments are following compliance guidelines and securing data, according to industry group FAST IiS.
The lobby group has warned that the large number of high profile data leaks will not be reduced unless more action is taken to ensure that data and software systems are running correctly.
The call comes on the back of recent comments made by the Information Commissioner who called for greater responsibility over data security.
In a statement, Julian Heathcote Hobbins, general counsel at FAST IiS, said that there needed to be more powers given to those trying to inspect organisations to identify risks.
"Given the number of security failures that have occurred in the last two years effective powers need to be implemented to allow for compulsory inspections where consent is not given. If organisations are unwilling to work to secure compliance, they should have a threat of more stringent action hanging over them, or in our experience the compliance risk is negligible and compliance is unlikely," he said.
He added that if software compliance was given more serious attention it would have a positive knock-on over piracy rates.
"We wouldn't have piracy running at 26% of all software in use in business in the UK, and consequently more jobs in the industry, safer computing networks, more tax revenue for the government and improved services for all."