Small businesses at risk of multimillion pound fines for breaking GDPR rules

A new survey has revealed many small business owners are still clueless about GDPR. The results suggest small businesses could be in breach of GDPR without even realising it, as half of the participants appeared confused when answering questions surrounding data protection and privacy regulations.

A worrying 4/10 didn’t know that losing paperwork could be a data breach, or that emailing or faxing personal details could potentially be breaching data regulations also.

Are you being extra careful when sending that email?

Scarily, 45% of businesses did not know that the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) needed to be informed when data was breached and individuals’ rights were affected. It also showed they were unaware and failing to ensure confidential paperwork such as signing in and visitor’s books were kept in a protected environment.

It’s essential as a business owner you stay well informed and aware of GDPR and data protection to ensure you continue to create trust in your employees and consumers. By staying up to date with the changing data laws, you will show that you are consistent in protecting personal and private information.

Breaking GDPR is easily done within a business – it’s as simple as storing files with personal data outside of a defined structure. Many SMEs are digitally renovating their businesses with more intricate technology, however, this essential move is increasing their exposure and vulnerability for cyber-attacks.

The fact that new threats are constantly evolving and developing – and 43% of cyber-attacks are aimed at SMEs – highlights the lack of knowledge surrounding GDPR. Small businesses now need to look at investing more time in digital security. This will not only prevent any future attacks but show that you are being proactive with your digital approach.

What can you do?

By maintaining your security and safeguarding your business, you are able to protect your organisation long term. Utilising Cyber Essentials, Cyber Essentials Plus and IASME GDPR Readiness certifications, which are compliant with the Data Protection Act (2012), you can ensure that you are prioritising your business and data while giving your employees and consumers that added assurance.

Safeguarding your data should be your priority. Considering crisis incidents such as extortion, cyber attacks, and industrial espionage are just a click away, it is critical that SMEs assess their ability to survive a cyberattack, and there are steps to take to prevent and manage this if the worst were to happen.

How confident are you that your business is fully compliant?

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