Majority of data loss has malicious roots, survey finds

A new report has galvanised claims, that most data loss incidents suffered by businesses and organisations are caused deliberately and with underlying malicious intent.

A data protection firm conducted a study that took answers from more than 1000 international professionals and it found that 62 per cent of recorded data losses are carried out with harmful motivations driving the antagonists. This figure is broken down into two halves, with 29 per cent of losses occurring as a result of external attacks from hackers, while internal security breaches, initiated by employees, are responsible for 33 per cent of data loss incidents.

Imperva discovered that most IT experts believe the best way to protect private data and corporate systems is to combine both technological deterrents, as well as improving data loss prevention policies, so that staff are better trained.

The report concluded that the use of firewalls is still one of the most significant ways to reduce the chance of losing data to third parties, while point to point encryption of data and the implementation of augmented network technologies, can also have an impact on the total number of losses.

The report unearthed unsettling information relating to the inability of many businesses to actually register when a loss has occurred or an attack been attempted. This leaves close to 66 per cent of businesses without any way of knowing whether or not data has been compromised.

Forty six per cent of firms that were able to keep track of when data was taken illicitly, said that the number of data loss incidents was falling slowly, compared to the 27 per cent who had not detected any drop in the figures year on year.

Imperva’s Amichai Shulman said that most IT security managers were having to navigate a complex route filled with new technologies and mutable threats, in order to properly protect the data for which their businesses are responsible.

By combining the collective experience of international businesses who deal with data loss and security breaches regularly, it is hoped that organisations will be better equipped to deal with whatever they may face in the future.

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