An infographic produced by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) reports that, in 2014/2015, data breaches related to solicitors and barristers were 4.5% of all security incidents reported to the UK authority. Although this figure doesn’t seem astonishing compared to that of other sectors, what’s surprising is that 29% of data breaches were due to loss and theft of paperwork – making it the most common type of incident for legal professionals.
Encryption doesn’t apply to paperwork
Despite living in a digital era, there are some sectors where information is still kept on paper and the legal sector is one of them. Lawyers and solicitors often carry a large quantity of information on paper when attending courts or meeting with clients, and they often store them at home. We all know that the best way to securely protect data is encryption, and this cannot be applied to paper documents. As a consequence, they are at risk of data breach.
Meet DPA obligations
The Data Protection Act applies to all organisations in the UK that hold or process personal data. Failure to comply with this law can translate into monetary penalties (up to £500,000 by the ICO), reputational damage and, in the worst cases, business disruption. Every member of staff needs to know the eight principles of the Act; if you think they don’t know them, refresh their memory with our DPA Staff Awareness E-Learning course.
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