Tag Archives: France

Portable storage and mobile device management lacking in UK businesses

Figures show that UK firms are less well equipped to protect the data stored on mobile devices and portable storage solutions than their European counterparts.

A study carried out by Absolute Software found that 65 per cent of IT managers working in the UK do not have any way of identifying where the mobile devices owned and operated by their business are located at a given point in time.

This compares poorly to the 50 per cent of clueless managers in France and 41 per cent in Germany, showing that many UK organisations need to step up their ability to manage mobile devices and keep tabs on their usage and whereabouts, in order to safeguard the sensitive data which they regularly store, necessarily mitigating the risk of loss.

Six per cent of IT managers from the UK claimed that they have automated systems in place to monitor the whereabouts of corporate laptops, which is still lower than both Germany and France, where this type of ability is present in 13 per cent of businesses.

Absolute Software’s Dave Everitt, said that the figures prove how UK managers are unable to properly monitor and protect mobile devices and portable storage, consequently leaving data out in the open to be lost or stolen and exposing businesses to damaging data loss scandals, which could result in punitive action by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Mr Everitt pointed out that while replacing the physical technology would be a minor expense, it is the data stored on mobile devices which is the most valuable to an organisation, meaning that in the event of loss or theft, the costs can quickly multiply.

Experts acknowledge that IT managers can have a tough time keeping track of mobile devices and Mr Everitt said that the increasing number of people using personal smartphones for business purposes was compounding the problem.

IT managers are advised to remain adaptable and work with employees in order to better manage and control the use of mobile devices and portable storage.

SMEs seek to improve business continuity and disaster recovery

A study carried out by analyst firm Forrester, has concluded that many small and medium sized businesses are going to be focusing on improving their disaster recovery and business continuity plans within the next year.

Business continuity planning has to take into account a large number of scenarios, from power cuts and flooding, to natural disasters and security breaches, according to Forrester’s Stephanie Balaouras.

Balaouras explained that the decision makers at the head of smaller firms and enterprises had been reluctant to invest in business continuity and disaster recovery in the past, because there is inadequate data relating to the probability of the most catastrophic events ever occurring.

To counteract this problem, various data protection firms and analysts have compiled formal explanations of why business continuity planning is essential. Balaouras cited a recent statistic which found an average business would encounter nearly 400 disasters annually, equating to nearly £70 billion pounds of lost business each year.

In 2009 the league table for the most disaster-affected nation was headed by the US, with catastrophes costing the economy close to £7 billion. It was followed by China, which lost around £3 billion to disasters and then France, which saw £2 billion slip away in the same manner.

Industry watchdogs are attempting to promote the importance of a business’ ability to recover operational viability as quickly as possible in the event of a disaster and Balaouras identified 22 different global initiatives with this goal in mind.

SMEs are likely to benefit from business continuity planning, not just in the event of a disaster, but when they seek to secure business partnerships with third party firms. A study conducted two years ago found that 80 per cent of businesses had been asked to prove their disaster recovery capabilities before entering into a working relationship with another organisation.

Over a third of the respondents to Forrester’s recent survey said that they were going to be bolstering investment in business continuity over the next year by a minimum of five per cent, while only a tenth said that they were having to cut spending in this area.

Predicted rise in theft of laptops coincides with holiday period

The summer months could see the highest rate of laptop thefts in any period this year as criminals take advantage of houses sitting empty with portable storage devices and computers in plain sight whilst owners are on holiday, according to laptop security experts.

Laptop tracking firm Absolute Software has released a stark warning after surveying over 62,000 people from the UK, Europe and North America in relation to laptop security and theft. In the UK the figures show that about 33 per cent of all laptop thefts occur whilst the computer is left at home and Absolute fears that this can only increase as the summer kicks off in earnest.

A home in the UK is the worst place to leave a laptop, according to the survey, which found that while a third of all thefts occurred at home for British users, this figure is much lower elsewhere, with Canadian laptop owners only having computers stolen from their homes in 17 per cent of cases. France was closer to the UK with 22 per cent, although there is still a significant divide.

Data loss scandals involving laptops highlighted by the media when high profile loss or theft occurs in public places when the portable nature of the technology is being exploited. As such, Absolute Software’s Dave Everitt believes that the findings of the survey will be a shock to many UK citizens, who might have previously been concerned with laptop security only when out and about.

Mr Everitt suggests that UK laptop owners will need to take greater care to secure all of their portable storage devices if they are planning a trip this summer, with the simple act of locking it in a secure location minimising the chances of theft. He also says that preventing data loss from stolen laptops can be easier if software allowing remote locking or deletion of data is installed. Such software could, in some cases, even lead to the apprehension of the guilty parties.

Hackers not responsible for data loss

According to a new survey of IT professionals, external hackers do not have much to do with corporate data leaks. IT software and services provider Compuware commissioned a survey and found that staff are more likely responsible for data breaches at companies.

According to the survey, just one percent of data breaches at companies are caused by outside hackers. Whereas 75 per cent of cases say that it is caused by staff. Perry Carpenter who is a research director at Gartner wrote that simply trusting employees in an enterprise will prove to be detrimental to their security, business interests and risk postures.

To provide the most effective and comprehensive defence against the insider threat the enterprise has to adopt low and high tech toolsets, security awareness and a mixture of tried and trusted security practices. 80 per cent of the world’s data is stored on mainframe systems. 41 per cent of breaches occurred on mainframes which lead to serious concerns. 3,596 IT professionals were interviewed in the UK, US, Germany and France.

All of them had an average of nine years experience. Only 39 per cent of German companies suffered breaches last year. However, data breaches in the US were the maximum followed by France at 63 percent and the UK at 55 per cent. In the UK 37 per cent of the breaches were caused by malicious insiders. 63 per cent of the breaches were caused by negligent insiders and 25 per cent came from outsourcing suppliers. Online data backup and data storage is an excellent way to manage data and prevent data loss.

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