Finance directors may not be best pleased but companies have been warned to up their spending on data security – no matter how much they are spending at the moment – in evidence given to the Parliamentary committee investigating the role of big data.
Both DMA group chief executive and Information Commissioner Christopher Graham appeared separately in front of the Science & Technology Committee’s Big data dilemma inquiry yesterday, but were signing from the same hymn sheet.
When asked by the committee about current data security fears, triggered by the TalkTalk hack Combemale asserted: “Every company should invest more in data security. Whatever they are investing in data security now, they need to increase that.”
His call was echoed by Graham, when quizzed about the recent TalkTalk hack. He said: “Our investigation into TalkTalk is ongoing so I am not willing to comment on this particular case. But what I will say is they were very quick to cast themselves as victims. The victims of any data breach, however, are the consumers whose details have been lost.
“But the TalkTalk breach is wake up call. Everyone has to accept that hackers are testing and testing and testing. It’s a council of defeat to say you can never be secure. You can be more secure than you were last year and you probably have to be. This has been a wake up call to everbody; you simply have to put in place the most effective systems that we can and make sure customer information that has been entrusted to companies is as safe as it can be.
“The more effective wake up call to companies is looking at what this does to the brand and looking at what it does to their business. I’m sure the people in TalkTalk are very concerned about the number of people who are not going to be renewing their contracts as a result of what has happened.”
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