Ignorance is no defence
- — Jan. 28, 2013, 4:52 p.m.
Recent research investigated the status of data loss prevention (DLP) uptake in the UK. The results have shown that, despite a raft of high-profile data breach incidents in recent years, many organisations are still burying their heads in the sand.
Over half (58%) of respondents admitted to not using DLP technology, highlighting a gaping hole in the security defences of many companies and organisations. Of those that did deploy the technology, only 14% used it for flash drives, despite the fact that this is one of the easiest ways for an employee to steal information. Email/web fared slightly better (at 24% deployment), with database applications coming in at 23%.
So what causes an organisation to decide against protecting its information? Predictably, IT directors named cost as the biggest inhibitor, which comes as no surprise considering the strains IT budgets have been under in recent years. There is also the ever-present issue of how seriously the board takes IT security (or how much it understands what is at risk). It is likely that many decide that there hasn’t been a problem to date, so there is little need to allocate extra budget to shoring up defences. It is this short-sighted view that can irrevocably damage a company’s reputation.
It would be wise for organisations to consider the burden of responsibility and the impact of not putting in place appropriate security. Legislation aside, when a customer or prospect gives their personal details, confidential information or the like, they expect the recipient to treat them with respect and care. Losing their data, despite the ready availability of DLP systems, will likely be regarded as unacceptable by the customer, and begs the question: if the company can’t be trusted with securing a simple database (for example), how can it be trusted elsewhere?
It is time that organisations understand that a comprehensive and robust security solution is no longer an option, but an absolute necessity.
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I’m dating myself, but I remember when holiday shopping involved pouring through ads in the Sunday paper, placing actual phone calls from tethered land lines to research product stock and availability, and actually driving places to pick things up. Now, holiday shoppers can do all of that from a smartphone or tablet in a few seconds, but there are some security pitfalls to be aware of.