Stats reveal impact of data loss in 2010

Research carried out by Eurostat has outlined the way in which data loss impacted businesses in 2010 and the means by which companies were negatively affected over the past 12 months.

Six per cent of businesses in Europe have been the victims of a data security breach, according to the organisation, with a majority of this attributable to malware and a portion due to direct attacks by third parties, often leveraged via malicious software.

Twelve per cent of businesses were impacted by data loss as a result of faulty hardware, although the UK fares better than many of its European contemporaries in categories like this. The failure of hardware, which causes downtime, is identified in the statistics as being twice as likely to cause data loss as a deliberate, direct attack.

While 20 per cent of businesses in Slovakia were infected with malware this year, in the UK just two per cent of firms were hit, according to the report.

In countries like Italy and Ireland most firms rely largely on superior passwords to keep their data safe and limit access, although even in particularly secure regions it is impossible to completely rule out data loss, particularly when human error is a factor.

Many experts warn about the dangers of lax security as a result of weak password choice and 2010 has seen several surveys showing just how easy it can be for cybercriminals to crack an account using brute force alone. Here the UK lags behind some of its neighbours, although it is still ahead of most eastern European nations, according to Eurostat.

Although the UK is relatively secure it is clear that data recovery requires planning for the disasters which might otherwise leave a business incapacitated and result in inevitable, costly downtime.

Relying on in-house technology which can be expensive to maintain and difficult to fix in the event of a fault, is not seen as efficient by many UK firms, resulting in a push towards cloud computing in the public and private sectors.

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