Keeping your data secure

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OK, so the New Year resolution has been made: “I will definitely give more attention to the protection of our data.” Good. Nobody wants to end up with the horrible headlines which accompany data theft, hacking or other indiscretions. But do you really know what you’ve signed up for with that resolution?

The first thing to consider is your legal position, and of course there is legislation governing the way you store, process and exploit your data. This is especially true when it your customers’ personal data. The key question though is “is my ICT supplier as committed to the protection of my data as I am?”. In fact you have a legal duty to consider that as part of your design. (Your ICT supplier is considered to be a “Data Processor” under the legislation).

OK, but what does “good” data protection look like? Well that, if I may say so, is the right question. The law gives you general obligations for data protection, but does not tell you how that should be achieved. As technology evolves, your customer proposition shifts and your organisation changes, so should the “what” and the “how” of your protection approach.

A responsible supplier such as Colt recognises that any chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and that data protection is therefore a joint effort between the ICT supplier and the customer. To get your head around the basics, Colt have produced an introductory paper “Protecting your data: your at-a-glance guide and how your ICT Partners can help”.

[slideshare id=29833228&doc=dataprotectionforsmeswhitepaper-140109020508-phpapp01&type=d]

A study in 2007 showed that 88% of personal New Year’s resolutions failed, even though more than half of the respondents were absolutely confident of success when setting the resolution. One strategy to improve the success rate (by 20%) was shown to be goal-setting, i.e. identifying small incremental wins en route to the big goal.

Whoever your chosen service provider is, I encourage you to ensure that they take your data protection as seriously as you do. I wish you all every success in keeping your data protection practices out of the headlines in 2014.

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