Security roundup: 7,000 UK data protection officers needed before 2018, UK unclear on Brexit’s impact on privacy

This week we find out why we’ll need 7,000 new data protection officers in the UK by 2018, why the UK public is unclear on Brexit’s impact on privacy, and more.

7,000 new UK data protection officers needed before 2018

Research conducted by GO DPO, the strategic partner for the Henley Data Protection Officer (DPO) Programme, estimates that around 7,000 large companies (employing in excess of 250 employees) will need to recruit and train at least one DPO each over the next 24 months.

Between now and when the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force on 25th May 2018, that equates to having to train around 14 DPOs every single working day.

Darren Verrian, CEO, GO DPO explained: “This headline figure of 7,000 DPOs isn’t a wild exaggeration and if anything is an under-estimate of the actual requirement as many banks and insurance companies employ more than one senior manager to fulfil the requirements of a DPO whose role can involve handling millions of customer and client accounts.

“Our conservative calculations are based on figures published by the BIS at the end of last year and exclude 33,000 medium-sized companies that employ 50-249 employees, many of which will also need to appoint a DPO.

“Not all companies will want to employ an in-house DPO but will opt for a third party provided DPO managed service. However, these independent contractors will also need to be trained.”

UK public unclear on Brexit’s impact on privacy

A study carried out just days before the referendum on whether or not the UK should leave or remain a part of the EU has shown that the public is unclear of the impact that leaving the EU would have on their privacy. 

The survey conducted on behalf of the security and privacy and comparison website,, and carried out by OnePoll found that out of 1,000 members of the UK public, 47% did not know whether or not their privacy would be better protected if the UK left the EU.

“While the in-out debates have focused mostly on immigration, spending and so forth, it’s also important that the public gives consideration to their right to privacy,” said Richard Patterson, director of

“The UK’s proposed Investigatory Powers bill – or Snooper’s Charter – would make it easier for the government to snoop on its citizens, but so far the EU courts have been holding the bill back as it is at odds with European Law. Without this protection, the public’s privacy could quite literally be at stake.”

Britain’s work obsession is putting corporate data at risk

New research by OneLogin has revealed that Britons’ work obsession is now putting corporate data at risk.

Although three-quarters have security software set up on their work devices (potentially due to organisation’s security policies), employees are making a habit of bypassing simple security procedures, the firm round in a recent survey.

One-in-ten would readily give colleagues access to their work device (11 per cent) and a further one-in-ten (9 per cent) would grant their partners access. 35 per cent would actually share their passwords for work-related technology (devices, apps and emails) with close friends and family. By default these additional people are then granted access to the corporate network.

In other news:

– Databarracks has been recognized for a second consecutive year in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for disaster recovery as a service.

An unnerving new discovery has been made in the realm of ransomware. A new strain known as RAA is coded entirely in Javascript, making it more likely that traditional ant-malware defenses won’t pick up on it, reports Minerva Labs.

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