Public sector needs expert help to prevent damaging data breaches

Tony Pepper, CEO, Egress Software Technologies The public sector has recently been hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons again – this time in the shape of a report from civil liberties and privacy pressure group, Big Brother Watch.

The report showed that there have been 4,236 data breaches in local authorities over the past three years, including at least 401 instances of data loss or theft; 628 instances of incorrect or inappropriate data being shared on emails, letters and faxes; and 159 instances of data being shared with a third party.

Most of these have been caused by staff mistakes, which is supported by Egress Software’s freedom of information findings last year showing that 93% of breaches are down to human error.

Consequently, anyone selling into the public sector should be talking to their customers about how they can mitigate the risk of human error, otherwise they risk damaged reputations and fines. Stories like this illustrate that risk perfectly.

It is clear that the public sector is struggling to protect data, so the channel has the perfect opportunity to step in to advise and help. While many organisations already have top-down policies and procedures in place, it is clear that staff are not following these rules.

Matching policy with smart information security technology is the best way to protect against human error – so channel businesses should be reviewing their product portfolios to ensure they have the right technologies at hand to recommend.

For example, the classic “autofill” email blunder, where emails are sent to the wrong recipient, can be mitigated by deploying software that allows users to revoke access after the fact so the wrong recipient isn’t able to read it. Now is the time to be speaking to public sector customers about their data protection strategies.

By offering this advice, channel players can explore new revenues in data security, as well as fulfil their role as trusted data protection advisers.

“Match policy with smart information security tech to protect against human error” Tony Pepper, Egress Software Technologies

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