Regular crisis simulation and supply chain audits need to become a normal part of everyday business practice as data security becomes ever more important, a leading expert told tech entrepreneurs in Bristol.

Charlie Wedin, partner in international legal practice Osborne Clarke’s commercial disputes team, and an expert in contentious cyber security issues, was speaking at a Venturefest event in the city.

The event was held at The Watershed at the culmination of this year’s Venturefest  Bristol and Bath innovation showcase, which is delivered by Invest Bristol and Bath and sponsored by Osborne Clarke.

Charlie Wedin told the audience that the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation from May next year – alongside the Network and Information Security Directive – would usher in an era for businesses of tougher questions from regulators, higher fines for breaches, and more high profile investigations and enforcement action.

“Security often forms part of GDPR compliance programmes and there will be a new focus on incident response, training and accountability,” he said.

“This means businesses may need to revise incident response plans and hold crisis simulations and other training, for example a GDPR ‘bootcamp.’ Cyber insurance will become increasingly important, as will the necessity of holding regular supply chain reviews and audits.”

West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles, also spoke at the event, about how the region had long been at the cutting edge of innovation.

“The West of England has evolved as an international trading region over centuries and one of the things which sets us apart is our use of technology and innovation, whether that is Brunel, Concorde, or any number of other examples,” he said.

“I am really proud of the fact that our tech sector is a global leader and contributes an estimated £1.6 billion to the economy each year. We need to be ambitious and work together to ensure we remain at the forefront of innovation, to drive economic growth for all.”

Pictured: Partner Charlie Wedin presenting at Venturefest 2017. Photo courtesy Jon Craig Photography.  

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