Microsoft reports data loss dip in 2010

A new study from software giant Microsoft, has found that the number of data loss incidents which have occurred in 2010 is considerably lower than those registered in 2009. This suggests that businesses and organisations are gradually reducing their chances of becoming the victims of scandalous security breaches or the misplacement of private information.

In the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report (MSIR), a small section was dedicated to data loss. Figures from industry analysts were quoted, showing that between 2008 and 2010, the number of data loss incidents made public, fell consistently over each intervening period of six months.

In the first half of this year, 232 data losses were reported, compared to 414 during the same period two years previously.

Microsoft used the MSIR to explain that there is one likely influence on these declining figures – the continued slowdown of activity caused by the global recession which coincides with this period.

While data loss is still largely facilitated by portable storage devices, mobile phones and laptops being lost, in 2010, the decline in the number of such incidents was at a significant 46 per cent.

A spokesperson for Microsoft, said that a greater awareness amongst the general public was allowing businesses and organisations from around the world to better protect the data for which they are responsible.

The spokesperson also indentified that security firms and businesses have to think creatively and continually ‘up their game’ in order to keep on a level footing with the cybercriminals who are intent on stealing data or benefitting from its accidental loss.

Despite the apparent decrease in data loss incidents, Microsoft used the MSIR to publish statistics which suggest that the proliferation of malware is on the rise. 6.5 million computers had harmful software removed via the Malicious Software Removal Tool, which represents a total increase of 100 per cent compared to 2009 levels.

Any data loss statistics need to be taken with a pinch of salt, as most believe that there is a discrepancy between the number of businesses which suffer from data loss and those which are then able to detect them and subsequently alert the proper authorities.

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