The importance of protecting personal data and staying secure online are ideas that we can all get behind. Wanting to have some control over what people know about us, or say about us, isn’t a new idea. What is new, are the methods by which information can be shared and obtained.
Business v personal
For business owners, there is an acknowledged acceptance that some of their details must be made public as it has been agreed that transparency supports good business practices and supports the public interest. But where is the line between business and personal? Particularly as the number of solo entrepreneurs and micro businesses increase.
Protection in law
Given the evolving online environment in which we all now live and work, the need for better protection of our personal information is now being more strongly recognised in law. Indeed, 2018 will see the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). In fact, it’s surprising to think the Data Protection Act came into law in 1998. After all, whose day to day communications look anything like they did 19 years ago?
In the last 19 years, the digital landscape – and particularly the platforms on which we provide information – has changed significantly. Year on year we see increasing numbers of people shopping online, storing photos in the cloud and managing their finances via banking apps – all of which mean sharing more data over the internet. But we also see a year on year increase in the volume of online fraud and the number of cyber-attacks on business.
Most practitioners are now working to move their clients online to maximise the benefits of our ability to share information, but is there an increasing risk to the security of our data? And who would be at fault if a cyber-attack was successful?
Making it work
Taking responsibility for protecting our businesses may seem like a daunting prospect; threats of large fines, lack of clear guidance and conflicting information make it difficult to know where (or when) to start. But although there may be many questions, one option we don’t have, is ignoring this responsibility.
ICAEW are hosting a half day workshop on Cyber security and data protection: what you need to know. As part of our Tomorrow’s Practice: Today series, the workshop will provide practical guidance, support and an opportunity to have your questions answered. It will cover topic such as getting your clients online, understanding what new requirements GDPR will bring over the old Data Protection Act and the basic steps all businesses can take to stay cyber secure.
Find out more and sign up at icaew.com/tptcyber