Eight reasons small businesses should read our new IT security guide

By Simon Rice, Group Manager for Technology.

it-security-bThe ICO’s new and improved A Practical Guide to IT is now available online and in print.

It’s aimed at small businesses and gives advice on how to keep IT systems safe and secure.

We first released the guide in 2012 and whilst some new threats have emerged the classic security issues are still important to address. Here are eight reasons you should read the updated guide:

it-security-1It’s easy to digest
Being nervous of or not understanding data protection is no excuse for not complying with the law. We like to lend a helping hand to businesses though and this is why our guidance is presented as ten bitesize chunks of advice.

it-security-2The guide’s a must for first-timers
If you run a small business and have never read any of our guidance for small businesses about IT security, you could well be unaware that you do not have appropriate systems in place.

it-security-3To check you’re complying with the law
Under the Data Protection Act, businesses have responsibilities to protect the personal information collected. That means IT systems must be kept safe and secure and our guide gives advice on how to do this.

it-security-4It could help you avoid a fine
Breaches of data protection legislation could lead to your business incurring a fine – up to £500,000 in serious cases. The reputation of your business could also be damaged if inadequate IT security leads to data loss or theft.

it-security-5It’s time to look again
If you’ve done nothing to check your IT systems are safe and secure since we issued the last version of the guidance three years ago, it’s time to have another look.

it-security-6Make sure your data is secure in the cloud
The guide includes updated advice about the cloud. Processing data in the cloud represents a risk because the personal data for which you are responsible will leave your network and be processed in those systems managed by your cloud provider.

it-security-7There’s more information about mobiles
Our latest guidance includes extra advice on how to make sure mobile devices you or your staff may use remotely are safe and secure.

it-security-8Works with Cyber Essentials
Cyber Essentials is the UK government-backed scheme designed to protect businesses. We show how these essential security controls can get you on the road to data protection compliance.

Small businesses that make use of our updated Practical Guide to IT may also be interested in our new self-assessment tool, which is designed to help small and medium sized organisations (SMEs) to assess their compliance with the Data Protection Act.

Simon RiceSimon Rice is the Group Manager for the Technology team which provides technical expertise to all ICO departments in order to support the broad range of activities undertaken by the ICO.

Last updated 10/2/2016 15:00

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