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26/05/2015 00:00
New research to assess public sector attitudes to data security procurement

A new piece of research has been launched by the BSIA, aimed at assessing the buying behaviour of public sector organisations seeking secure data destruction services. 

Following a number of high-profile data breaches within NHS Trusts and local authorities, secure data destruction is now a top priority across the public sector. Organisations operating within the public sector have been particularly prone to poor data management, with many incurring fines of up to £500,000 from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) as a result. 

With previous research highlighting a worrying lack of awareness regarding British Standards and legal obligations, the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) is launching a new campaign to educate those responsible for procuring information destruction services. 

Kicking off this campaign is an initial research piece, aimed at organisations operating within the public sector, to gauge their understanding of the various standards operating within the marketplace and to gain an overview of current procurement practices and specifications. Open to organisations of all types – predominantly including those within the healthcare, education and local authority sectors – the research takes the format of an online survey and can be accessed via the following link: http://svy.mk/1ExAJQu 

Adam Chandler, Chairman of the BSIA’s dedicated Information Destruction section, comments: “While it’s not just public sector organisations that are prone to data breaches – the average data breach costs private sector firms around £1.9m annually – the sensitive nature of the data held by public sector organisations can expose them to greater reputational and financial risk. 

“An overarching theme identified by the BSIA’s previous projects is a general lack of understanding when it comes to the standards that should be specified of a professional information destruction supplier. This often leads to organisations specifying unnecessarily stringent requirements with regards to factors such as shred size, transport and destruction processes.”

As the leading authority on information destruction best practice, the BSIA’s Information Destruction Section is aiming to overcome this issue and further highlight the benefits of various standards – including EN15713 – by launching an educational campaign targeted at end-users within the public sector who are considering procuring information destruction services. 

To complete the BSIA’s survey, please visit: http://svy.mk/1ExAJQu All responses are anonymous. 

For more information about EN15713 and procuring a professional information destruction company, visit www.bsia.co.uk/information-destruction