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Leading anti-virus supplier Kaspersky has carried out a survey which revealed that among small and medium-sized businesses there is a very considerable degree of complacency about the risks of losing sensitive data.
Two thirds of respondents admitted that they held sensitive business data on their personal data devices (laptops, mobile phones or pad devices), yet more than half of these did not take precautions to keep such data secure.
The practical effects of data loss can be considerable. Not only can business-sensitive data in the wrong hands lead to economic losses, but losses of data covered by the Data Protection Act 1998 can also lead to a considerable fine by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).
If you allow staff to use their own devices to hold such data or provide them with portable devices, having a strict data protection policy and enforcing it is imperative.
The ICO has produced comprehensive guidance, entitled 'Bring your own device (BYOD)', to help data controllers comply with their duties in this respect.