By Daniel Hunter

UK small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) need additional education and an increased regulatory threat to help them properly protect the confidential information they hold, according to Shred-it, a leading document destruction firm.

Nearly two-thirds (59.8%) of the small and medium sized enterprises responding to the 2012 Shred-it Security Tracker survey do not believe that the loss or theft of data would be a problem to their business, 10% more than in last year’s survey.

As an increasing number of employees work from home to avoid the predicted travel chaos that will accompany a major sporting event taking place in London this summer, combined with this lack of concern for the safety of confidential information could lead to a significant increase in data breaches.

“UK SMEs are still not seeing information security as a serious business issue and they need to, especially with the major sporting event taking place in London this summer. The Government, regulator and trade bodies need to lead from the front in raising the profile of the issue and providing support to those who need it”, says Robert Guice, Executive Vice President, EMEA, Shred-it.

“The ICO then needs to finally use the powers they have to punish transgressors in order to send a message to the rest of the sector of how important it is to keep consumers information safe.” Mr Guice continued.

Over one-third (35.4%) of the UK-based SMEs responded stating they do not have any protocols in place for the secure storage and destruction of the confidential customer information they hold. Meanwhile, over three quarters (76.6%) provide no training on information security and a similar number (77.4%) do not destroy electronic storage devices properly.

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