Mismanaged paperwork leads UK SMEs to break data security rules

News by Danielle Correa

Many employees at UK SMEs are breaching data protection rules due to mismanagement of paperwork, which is putting their security at risk.

Reckon, formerly Lindenhouse Software, has conducted research that found failure to correctly manage files is costing businesses time and money. The survey included responses from 1,198 small business leaders in the UK.

Nearly a quarter of those surveyed (23 percent) stated that they struggle to stay on top of their paperwork.

Ten percent admitted they find it difficult to manage and store paper documents, yet 30 percent believe that using more technology would enable them to make their business more efficient.

These difficulties mean SMEs risk breaking basic data security guidelines, including ensuring that information is stored securely for a reasonable and agreed amount of time, and processed in line with the subject's rights or contractual agreement.

One in 10 respondents regularly share files via personal devices and sends documents to personal email addresses to work remotely or catch up on outstanding work from home. A quarter admitted to saving files on their desktop rather than a central server for similar reasons or because it's easier and quicker.

“With new legislation such as the General Data Protection Regulation, which allows clients to claim for damages to data loss coming into force before we leave the EU, it is imperative that the businesses consider new ways of storing and sharing data securely,” said Mark Woolley, commercial director for Virtual Cabinet in a statement. “This new legislation seeks to strengthen and unify data protection across the continent and is likely to be adopted by the UK even as we leave the Union.

“Data security and employee time are two factors which need to be carefully managed by any business. While there are some resources out there already, there is clearly still a gap to be filled and it needs to be filled quickly. We'd urge any new business to make life simpler for themselves by seeking good advice and to identify the best systems to help them comply.”

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