Fines for firms who don’t protect themselves from hackers

08 August 2017

Government crackdown to protect essential services


Firms could face fines of up to £17m (or 4% of global turnover) if they fail to protect themselves from cyber attacks.

The Government has issued the warning in a bid to protect essential services such as water, energy, transport and health from hackers.

Earlier this year NHS services across England and Scotland were hit by a large-scale cyber-attack that disrupted hospital and GP appointments.

Firms that take cyber-security seriously should already have measures in place to prevent attacks or systems failures.They will also have to show they have a strategy to cover power failures and environmental disasters.

Speaking to the BBC, Digital Minister Matt Hancock said any fines would be a last resort and  would not apply to firms which had put safeguards in place but still suffered an attack. He is launching a consultation on the plans aimed at determining how to implement the Network and Information Systems (NIS) directive which becomes law across the EU next May.

It is separate from the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which are aimed at protecting data, rather than services.

The GDPR will replace the UK's Data Protection Act 1998 from 25 May next year and the government has confirmed that the UK's decision to leave the EU will not change this.

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