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March 27, 2014

Also in the news this week – 28 March 2014

10 million mobile devices lost by employees

Over the past year, almost 10 million mobile devices holding sensitive business data have been lost by employees in Britain, according to research by EE. 19% of employees say they have lost a mobile device such as a laptop, tablet or smartphone on a work night out, while 16% left a device on public transport. Devices were also commonly left in public toilets. Gerry McQuade, chief marketing officer for business at EE, said: "More often than not, employees will use their personal mobile device to access company emails, documents or presentations, unaware that they may be putting sensitive data at risk. What's important is that business data is secure, whether accessed from a company-owned device or not."

Falling inflation "good news for business"

The news that CPI inflation fell to 1.7% in February has been welcomed. David Kern, chief economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: "The further fall in inflation is good news for businesses and consumers. The current economic environment of low inflation and low interest rates should make it easier for businesses to plan ahead and invest." And John Allan, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said: "With this lower inflation rate, workers will begin to feel the increase of wage rises in their pockets."

BSI raises awareness of procurement fraud

BSI has published a guide to implementing protection against procurement fraud (BS 10501). A recent survey by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS) showed that 9.3% of businesses had suffered at least one incident of procurement fraud in the past year. Andrew Coulcher, director of business solutions at CIPS, said: "Unlike fraud and bribery, procurement fraud requires different controls which are very specific. With that in mind we wanted to create an overarching piece of guidance that would help organisations from a very top level."

Energy review welcomed by SME groups

The FSB has welcomed Ofgem's call for the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to conduct an investigation into the energy market. John Allan, FSB national chairman, said: "Small and especially micro-businesses face an uncompetitive and untransparent market. It is not just householders that are getting a poor deal, small businesses are hit hard too." The announcement comes as energy provider SSE has announced a price freeze until 2016 – but only for domestic customers. Allan said: "It comes as no surprise that the price freeze does not extend to small business customers. Is it too much to ask for businesses to be able to easily compare tariffs and have a straightforward procedure to switch supplier if they find a better deal?"