Poll finds human error is still a big issue for data protection

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People are still not being careful enough with data, it has been suggested.

A new report has discovered that two-thirds of data breaches that occurred in 2012 came about because of human error and problems with operating IT systems correctly.

The Cost of Data Breach research was carried out by Symantec and the Ponemon Institute and suggested that business owners may not be informing their members of staff about how important it is to ensure that sensitive information is kept safe from prying eyes.

Some firms had few system controls in place to prevent employees from mishandling information – and this led to a number of industry and government regulations being broken.

The Ponemon Institute’s Larry Ponemon commented: "Eight years of research on data breach costs have shown employee behaviour to be one of the most pressing issues, up 22 per cent since the first survey."

This study follows a Lieberman Software poll presented at the recent RSA Conference 2013, which found that some British employees may be deliberately ignoring the rules on data protection in order to make their jobs easier.

Up to 80 per cent of the IT security professionals quizzed said they thought this was happening, with many presumably doing it to save time.

It was not only human error that was found to be causing trouble. The new study discovered that malicious attacks on computer systems are getting even more commonplace, with the average incident costing firms £102 to put right. This expenditure could soon mount up for smaller organisations.

Perhaps unsurprisingly given the nature of the information they need to store, the healthcare, finance and pharmaceutical sectors were the most badly affected by data breaches.

Having a simple disaster recovery plan in place could be all it takes to make a significant improvement though; business owners who had done this cut the cost of data breach incidents by 20 per cent when compared to firms that remained largely unprotected.

Dajon Data Management can help to protect all kinds of companies against data breaches using solutions such as offsite file storage and a digital mailroom. Get in touch with one of our experts to find out more.

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