IT security experts could clean up as contractors
Everybody knows that preserving their financial security is important and most people install software on their computers to ensure that they don’t pick up viruses or unwanted programmes as they browse the internet. However, the companies who hold some of our most sensitive financial data bear the responsibility not only for managing that data efficiently but for protecting the security of their clients and customers against scammers who may target them based on the kind of data that they hold.
Firms that experience data breaches are increasingly turning to IT contractors to help them to safeguard the information for which they are responsible. They are feeling the full effects of the skills shortage, with a limited number of experienced professionals available to fill the roles that are coming up.
This is a critical concern, especially given that figures have been released this month which show that there have been 791 data security investigations amongst banks and building societies since 2013. This represents a 183 per cent increase on the figures from the previous two years, meaning that potential breaches are becoming more and more common.
However, there are more concerning matters to consider, such as the fact that 585 of these investigations concerned breaches thought to have taken place in the last 12 months, according to the figures obtained from the Information Commissioners Office. Human error was identified as the main cause for the problems in an overwhelming majority of these cases.
The findings have led data protection and information specialist law firm OBEP to state that contractors will have an important role to play in the future of banking. Their skills will be called upon to help financial clients minimise the chances of data breaches by allowing firms to keep tabs on the various systems they use in order to reduce the threats to their data.
Financial companies which fail to maintain control over their platforms could be at risk of fines imposed by the ICO, although financers have only been penalised to the tune of £455,000 to date. Changes to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations will take effect in the years to come, which could mean that more fines will be imposed on firms who fail to take action.
Financial firms are being urged to consider the way that these regulatory changes will affect them, whereas contractors who have the relevant skills could also benefit from brushing up their skills to ensure that they are able to provide a comprehensive service to those who wish to hire them.
If you are an IT contractor and want to make the most of your skills, then we have plenty of guidance to help you, including articles about contractor tax which can give you an overview of the kinds of things that you will need to consider.
If you want some help keeping your own finances in order while you concentrate on your career, then our friendly accountants will be able to offer you the benefit of their experience. Call us today on 01442 275789 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.