SMEs are being warned that failure to comply with the latest data protection legislation will cost them more than just an official fine.
Following the launch of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), businesses of all sizes across every sector have been under pressure to protect and control their customer data, as well as report any breaches.
So far there have been high-profile examples of companies failing to implement robust processes and strategies to ensure they meet the regulations. Facebook has been fined £500,000 for failing to safeguard its users’ information and a lack of transparency over how that data was gathered by third parties.
Dixons Carphone admitted that hackers gained access to 5.9 million customer payment cards through its processing systems, while Ticketmaster was accused of waiting months before informing customers of a cyber attack in which personal data about its customers had been stolen.
Breaches of GDPR can lead to fines of up to €4 million or 4% of a company’s turnover in some cases, but the damage can have more long-term repercussions for a company with the potential loss of reputation it can suffer as a result. A survey by Crown Records Management found that 78% of people would withdraw their custom from a business after a data leak.
On top of that, 32.5% of the general public said they believe a company’s reputation could suffer one-to-two years’ damage following a data breach.
Mark Kozo, Head of Marketing at Portman Asset Finance, said: “What’s becoming clear is that any breach of data protection will come with the risk of a loss of reputation as well as custom, aside from the initial fine.
“If companies with the significant IT resources of Facebook are failing to safeguard and administer their data properly, then small-to-medium-sized businesses may find themselves up against it if they don’t invest in their infrastructure.
“Introducing a modern and strong information management system with effective anti-virus protection, together with associated staff training to ensure the smooth and safe running of the software, is crucial if companies are serious about meeting the responsibilities that come with handling client data in the modern environment.
“Many SMEs or start-ups in particular may not be aware that investing in IT software doesn’t have to come with an up-front cost. With our lease finance agreements, we can fund any sort of asset including ‘soft’ assets such as new information management systems without the need of a deposit.
“Flexible repayment terms can be arranged over lengthy periods and, with rates from just 2.5% available, you can protect your business from the potential fallout of a data breach for a low and manageable cost.
“Don’t leave it to chance – get in touch now to see how we can help you invest in the future of your business by making it fully compliant with GDPR.”
Our Account Managers can be reached on 01604 321 995 if you’d like to discuss financing the latest data control and protection software for your business. More information about our finance products is available here.