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Compulsory data protection audits 'may be needed'

6 February 2013

The public sector in the UK could benefit from compulsory data protection audits that assess whether major organisations such as local councils and the NHS are doing enough to keep important data safe, according to information commissioner Christopher Graham.

He told MPs taxpayers were losing out when public bodies were fined for mistakes in handling sensitive information.

The Information Commission currently only has the power to launch compulsory audits across central government, report BBC News.

However, local councils and the health service have been under the spotlight recently following a series of high-profile mishaps involving the treatment of sensitive data.

Nineteen local councils have been fined a total of £1.8 million for breaches of the data protection act, the most recent sanctions coming in December.

Cyber security analyst Eugene Kaspersky told a session at the DLD13 conference in Munich that the increasing importance of digital systems makes cyber security a central issue to all organisations in the private and public sector.

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