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Top Entrepreneur Warns: "Protect Your Private Parts"

Article date: Wed, 26 Jan 2011 10:13 GMT

Data Privacy DayThe online economy appears to be buoyant going into 2011. Four out of five merchants forecasting growth in online revenue expect to see increases in e-commerce takings of up to 40 per cent according to CyberSource and other industry experts are supporting this trend. Hosting solutions company UKFast has 4,000 businesses on its network and experienced a substantial uplift in clients increasing the size of their web solutions in the lead up to 2011. Managing director Lawrence Jones believes this is down to optimism in the marketplace and the availability of funds to help SMBs to grow. However, as Data Privacy Day approaches (Friday 28th), Jones issues a clarion call to online merchants to ensure they achieve PCI Compliance and secure the future of their online presence. "In terms of risk versus cost, the choice is obvious - companies need to make their data secure, or they could end up paying a very steep price," says Jones. He speaks out following the news that online cosmetics site Lush was hacked, leaving the personal data of thousands of its patrons, compromised. Allegations have been made that the site was not PCI Compliant, although Lush is yet to confirm or deny these rumours. "As 2011 gets underway, and we celebrate data privacy day, businesses should take this opportunity to carry out a comprehensive risk assessment of the data they hold that requires protection." Jones argues that any delays in data security could prove costly: "Consumers are much more savvy about the importance of data security and non-compliant businesses are bound to lose out as a result." However, this is just the beginning, as a data breach can have far reaching consequences when it comes to brand equity. "The loss of trust from customers and potential buyers is hugely costly," says Jones. "It could be the death knell for even the most successful e-commerce business that has built its reputation over many years." The good news is, that according to Visa, 96 per cent of larger businesses taking more than £1m in revenues through their site, have achieved the PCI standard. Jones is reaching out to the thousands of SMBs at the lower end of the market yet to complete the certification. Data Privacy Day is on Friday 28th January and is intended to highlight the reasons for businesses to put the protection of data at the top of their to-do list. Click here for more information on Data Privacy Day.
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