UK ranks poorly in data loss survey

A new report into the data loss prevention measures employed by UK businesses has found that the levels of protection are far below those seen in other European countries.

Close to two thirds of organisations and firms based in the UK have not sought or implemented direct preventative measures via data protection products, according to a survey conducted by Ouocirca and CA.

The results mean that UK businesses are on average at greater risk of suffering from data loss than their contemporaries in France, Italy and the Republic of Ireland.

Of the firms that have protected their data in some way, 90 per cent believe that their intellectual property and private customer information is completely out of harm’s way.

Quocirca’s Bob Tarzey said that there was a lack of consistency across different business markets, using the personal information-driven environment of financial services and the trade secret protection required by manufacturing firms as an example as to how requirements and policies over data loss prevention are fundamentally at odds.

Mr Tarzey said that the survey proved that many UK businesses are unable to comply with data security regulations, partially because individual industries and governmental bodies had their own conflicting rules governing data loss prevention.

Businesses are being advised that the only way in which to ensure compliance is to integrate it into the very architecture of their systems and codes of practice, so that data protection is performed seamlessly and without the need for active input from staff.

Mr Tarzey said that data protection vendors would always attempt to sell products that claim to ensure compliance, but that the only way to truly combat the threat of loss or theft was to enact a fundamental change to policy within a firm.

The issues of cloud computing and virtualisation are touched on by the report and its authors, but ultimately these are seen as future challenges, which some see as underselling technologies that are already in place within many UK and international businesses. Adaptation, upgrading and constant revision are seen as the best approaches for businesses in coping with the changing requirements of data loss prevention.

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