In 2010, 83 percent of the German enterprises were affected by data loss. Most common was customer data loss.

That is the result of the study “Understanding Security Complexity in 21st Century IT Environments” by the security service provider “Check Point Software Technologies” and the market research company “Ponemon”.

Worldwide, more than three quarters of the companies affected
At least 77 percent of the surveyed organisations in the USA, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Japan were concerned by the data loss.

In German companies, the following data was pertained most commonly:

  1. customer information and generic consumer data (both about 50%)
  2. other intellectual property, e.g. source codes (29 percent)
  3. employee data (28 percent)
  4. business plans or strategies (20 percent)

According to the respondents, the main reasons for the data loss were stealing of IT equipment or the simple, unintended loss of it.

Other causes were network attacks, unsecured mobile terminals, web 2.0 and file-sharing-appliances – and of course the accidental email-dispatch to a wrong receiver.

The companies do not think that their employees handle their data carefully enough: The respondents said that, on average, not even half of their employees have the awareness to think about terms like data security, compliance or security-guidelines.

The solution: Inform your staff and create transparent processes

The term of data security always has to rank first on the priority list of all IT-security officers, Jörg Kurowski from “Check Point Software Technologies” opines. But if one takes a look at the causes of data loss, it becomes clear that the biggest part of the incidents happen unintentionally. Companies should rely on a stronger awareness and a stronger involvement of their employees and at the same time establish associated processes in order to not just recognize the data loss, but to avoid it pro-actively. Like this, databases will become more transparent and easier to control, Kurowski continues.


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