Data Protection and information security not just a problem for the IT
24/09/03, UK: The challenge of meeting the requirements of IT-related
legislation is dominating the to-do lists of compliance managers, according
to research announced today by corporate compliance specialists,
PolicyMatter. Data Protection, IT Security and Internet & Email
acceptable topped the list of ‘must-do policies’ in 2003 with shares of
16%, 13% and 13% respectively.
PolicyMatter spokesperson, Matt Fisher, commented on the research: “We
deliberately targeted an equal mix of IT, HR, Legal and management
professionals across different industry sectors in order to get as balanced
a view as possible – yet with a total of 42%, the focus on IT policies
clearly extends beyond the IT department.
“The results show that as well as investing in technical security measures
such as email filtering solutions and firewalls, organisations are
realising that employee behaviour is critical to complying with
legislation. With the consequences of system abuse so wide ranging, it’s
no surprise that this isn’t just an IT responsibility any more.”
Despite the focus on developing IT security policies, PolicyMatter warns
that many organisations are unlikely to realise much benefit from them.
The research showed that 68% of respondents could not say for sure that all
employees had seen the organisation’s policies, and only 15% of firms
recorded the acceptance of all policies by staff.
PolicyMatter has developed a ‘risk calculator’, available on its website
www.policymatter.com, to advise organisations on the level of risk they are
currently running, according to their size, line of business and current
policy communication methods.
Nathan Millard of law firm, Morgan Cole, added: “Having a
legally-watertight policy is a critical first step to policy best practice
– but all the effort that goes into the research and drafting is wasted if
the policy is just posted to an intranet site and left there to age,” he
said. “Recent tribunals and court cases have placed a clear
obligation on the employer to prove not only the existence of written
policies, but that they have been seen, understood and accepted by
Despite leading the way, IT was by no means alone in causing a compliance
challenge for organisations. With 10 per cent of the vote, Health &
Safety policies made comprised the next most popular area. Relegated to
third place were HR and Corporate Governance policies, with nine per cent
each. In all, the PolicyMatter survey identified no less than 12 distinct
policy areas being addressed – including new compliance areas such as Brand
Management (8%) and Sarbanes Oxley (3%).
~ Ends ~
Marketing Manager, PolicyMatter
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