40 percent of Asian companies suffer economic loss due to data breaches: EIU report

More than half of Asian companies (65 percent) reported that they have experienced data breaches within the past year.

This is according to a report titled Sharing the blame: How companies are collaborating on data security breaches, published today by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). Sponsored by Akamai Technologies - an Internet content delivery network provider - this report polled 210 senior executives across the Asia Pacific region.

Additional findings of the report revealed that 40 percent of businesses suffered significant economic loss as a result of compromised data systems, with financial services firms experiencing the worst hit.

Despite lapses in data security, corporate executives are not blaming their own IT departments. In fact, majority of the companies in Asia (85 percent) believe their own IT security systems are trustworthy.

With regards to minimising the damage caused by data breaches, almost half of the respondents (47 percent) agree that collaborating with industry by increasing the disclosure of breaches does help. Contrary to this statement, collaboration remains rare as companies are unwilling to disclose the occurrence of customer information breaches, be it with the media or competitors.

"Datasets held in the private sector in Asia are far from secure - and data security is firmly on the agenda of corporate executives in the region," said Charles Ross, editor of the report. "But to make data more secure, companies need to be willing to collaborate with rivals and lay bare their weaknesses so that they, and everyone else, can learn from them. This is recognised as part of the solution, but the problem is that companies are waiting for each other to take the first steps."

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