It's a new year and you may just to be starting your first business or you may be a seasoned business owner looking to continue to grow your business this year. January is always a good time to get organised for the challenges you may face and to lay the foundation for a successful year in business. 

The attached article gives another example of the importance of data protection in business. The Information Commissioner’s Office has fined Royal Sun & Alliance Insurance PLC £150,000 for their failure to take measures to prevent the accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal data of nearly 60,000 of their clients.

Data protection

Data protection, privacy issues and cyber security should be high on the agenda for SMEs due to its increased importance for clients and also the ongoing legal developments in this area. 

It should no longer be the case of saying "My business is too small to target or I don't really deal in data". The reality is that if you run a business, no matter how small, you are likely to be subject to the rules of data protection.  

Why it matters

The importance is reflected in a report published by the Federation of Small Businesses in June 2016. This report suggests that "smaller firms are collectively attacked seven million times per year, costing the UK economy an estimated £5.26 billion. Despite the vast majority of small firms (93%) taking steps to protect their business from digital threats, two thirds (66%) have been a victim of cyber crime in the last two years. Over that period, those affected have been victims on four occasions on average, costing each business almost £3000 in total."

How to prepare 

What can businesses learn from this? The main lesson may well be that data should be handled properly and lawfully. It doesn't have to be difficult, knowing the basics and how to prepare properly, will make sure that you stay on the right side of the law. 

I recently did a series of blogs on the topic of data protection and the rules that SMEs and business owners should be aware of. You can find the blogs here:

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