‘Digital service providers’ faced with strict EU security guidelines

Digital giants such as Amazon and Google could face stringent security laws requiring them to adopt the highest possible security measures when it comes to protecting their users’ data under draft legislation currently being debated by the EU, according to reports.

A Reuters report claims such firms – broadly classified as “digital service providers” – are likely to fall within rules laid out by the Network & Information Security Directive, similar to energy and financial firms, which is currently being drafted by European politicians.

The laws could ask digital service outfits to adopt security measures requiring them to report any breaches that could lead to their customers’ information being compromised.

Politicians from across the EU’s 28 members states are scheduled to meet and debate the proposals further next month, with sources quoted in the piece claiming those driving the legislation fail to understand the realities of the digital service industry.

With enterprises, and marketing departments in particular, increasingly relying on ‘big data’ to improve targeting and customer retention, the issue of data protection is becoming an increasingly important issue.

The importance of which was laid out earlier in the week when UK data protection body the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) handed out a £180,000 fine to payday lender The Money Shop for a series of breaches that compromised its customers’ information.

Thepayday lender was judged not to take proper precautions to protect customer information in separate incidents – during a burglary at one of its stores in Co. Armagh, plus the loss of a second server en route to a different outlet in Swindon – meant a ”motivated expert user” could gain access to customer information.

Similarly, the importance of IT security was also raised this week, when it emerged that Yahoo had fallen victim to an unprecedented ‘malvertising’ attack after hackers broke into its ad network, according to security firm Malwarebytes.

According to the firm, hackers exploited a vulnerability in Adobe Flash on 28 July to make their entry and propagate through Yahoo’s ads for a week, potentially putting up to 100m monthly visitors to yahoo’s suite of sites at risk.

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