The Intelliflo GDPR Working Party has delegates from 11 major networks and advice firm customers, representing around 2,000 UK advice firms. The aim is to get to a common interpretation of the impact of the GDPR regulation on financial service firms and a best practice approach of implementation that will assist Intelliflo customers in meeting the challenges of this new regulation.
Rob Walton, chief operating officer at Intelliflo, who chairs the working party set up by the company, said: “Adviser firms will need to ensure employees are made fully aware of their responsibilities in terms of the data they can access and the consequences of any mishandling, with permissions being installed where possible to segregate data for its correct use.
“Under the new GDPR rules, it is mandatory that any breach is reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and, in most cases, the data subject within 72 hours.”
Intelliflo says that of the 96 reprimands that were made publicly available in 2017 by the ICO, 11 were directly aimed at individuals who were working for firms at the time at their indiscretions. These were for offences of unwarranted accessing of personal data and sending sensitive data to personal email accounts without reason.
Such instances could have been avoided with proper staff training, says the working party. The increase represents a significant leap in such reprimands, since no individuals were publicly targeted by the ICO in 2016.
Public bodies have also been fined by the ICO. In May 2017, Greater Manchester Police was fined £150,000 because of three sets of sensitive personal information getting lost in the post.
Mr Walton said: “Firms are at risk not only of fines, but also of highly negative media attention. Training staff so they are fully aware of what they can and can’t do with regards to data helps to reduce the risk of data breaches plus ensure the firm itself is not the focus for any potential enforcement procedures if staff claim they didn’t know they were doing something wrong.”
To help financial advisers with training, Intelliflo has commissioned three new e-learning courses worth 30 CPD minutes each and is making them available to all 19,000 users of its Intelligent Office (iO) management software. The courses cover GDPR Awareness, Phishing Awareness and Information Security Awareness and have been compiled by Alan Calder from IT Governance, an international cyber security expert and author on information security and IT governance issues.
To assist firms in getting up to speed on the requirements of the GDPR in advance of the May deadline, Intelliflo is offering six free licences to the courses to all iO user firms.