More action needed by Information Commissioner’s Office

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) will need a bigger budget should it adopt a more aggressive stance towards data breaches, argued security vendor ViaSat UK’s CEO Chris McIntosh.

McIntosh’s comments were in response to the 2014/15 Information Commissioner’s Annual Report and Financial Statements.

The report stated  that the agency is completing a larger number of cases quicker than in 2014, although with essentially the same finance it received last year. Over 70% of its cases were completed within a 30-day period, with 18% completed in between 31 and 90 days.

McIntosh was speaking to SC Magazine UK, commenting that although ICO has seen its next expenditure fall by 32%, the latest report indicated that it is facing an uphill battle should it continue to operate against financial restrictions. He said:

“If we are to ask the ICO to take greater action against those breaking the Data Protection Act, to be able to monitor and audit organisations as it feels necessary and to have greater power to enforce data protection best practice, it is clear that this funding needs to increase.”

The subject of data breaches is not going away any time soon, thanks to the string of high-profile cases in recent years. The ICO will ultimately need funding, but SMEs too need to play their part in protecting the data of UK citizens and customers. If they do not open up cyber security jobs to trained professionals and suddenly fall foul of a breach, it was added that those very clients just may not forgive them for it.

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