The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has revealed a jump in the number of penalties handed out for organisations in breach of the Data Protection Act.
In the last year the number of warnings handed out for security lapses has increased by almost half (48 per cent) to 68. Its fines reached nearly £2 million over the year.
The ICO has also increased the amount and frequency of fines it hands out, with 15 fines totalling £1.8 million, imposed over the past year - a significant increase in the six fines totalling £431,000 the previous year.
Ross Brewer, vice president and managing director for international markets, LogRhythm, commented: "It is about time the ICO took a much tougher approach when dealing with data breaches, given the somewhat lacklustre approach of previous years. In today’s information age, nominal fines and letter-writing initiatives to warn about data handling simply do not cut it – hence the almost constant stream of data incidents still hitting headlines.
"The ICO seems to be taking data security more seriously and organisations will have no choice but to take heed if they wish to avoid the financial and reputational repercussions of a breach. With the growing number of fines that the ICO is dishing out, it will be much easier for the public to identify those organisations that are being irresponsible with their data – and as an additional incentive, the increased penalty per organisation ensures that the impact on the bottom line will certainly be felt.