Tag Archives: Mr Tarzey

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.

Report shows attacks on business data integrity still high

A new study has shown that in Europe around 28 per cent of businesses have experienced attacks against the integrity of their data. A total of 420 firms were questioned as part of the study carried out by InfoSecurity, highlighting the persistent threat posed to inadequately protected data.

Although the frequency of the attacks is high, only six per cent of the affected firms said that they had been seriously affected by the assaults and as a result had strengthened their data protection systems.

Any attack on the integrity of an organisation’s data that succeeds could have a negative effect on the firm involved. Everything from credit ratings to public perception can be damaged and thus the financial burden can be felt long after the event has been detected and new measures have been put in place.

The study also found that 14 per cent of firms cannot actually identify an attack and 50 per cent say that although they have yet to detect any direct attack, if such an event were to occur, it could prove to be serious.

Of the hundreds of organisations questioned, only three per cent said that they were confident that attacks against the integrity of their data would never be a significant issue.

Data protection expert Bob Tarzey said that growing data volumes within businesses would only heighten the problem of integrity attacks and the nervousness of businesses in relation to this matter was understandable.

Mr Tarzey said that he was surprised by the number of respondents who said that their businesses had been hit by attacks in the recent past. He believes that the inability of businesses to detect these attacks could lead to a mounting issue surrounding data integrity in the future.

InfoSecurity’s Claire Sellick added that the confidentiality and availability of data within businesses needs to be addressed in the same way in which the integrity of that data is handled. Many experts are calling for businesses to disclose information about the incidents that they do manage to detect, rather than withholding it for fear of the ramifications.

Costs of data loss rising

More businesses and organisations are being hit with the costs of security breaches and data loss than ever before and security firm PGP’s annual report has shown in real terms the financial burdens imposed by typical data loss incidences.

The PGP study has revealed that it costs a business an average of 1.68 million to account for a single incidence of data loss. This can be reduced to a total cost of around 64 for each individual piece of information that is leaked, stolen or left behind.

PGP contracted the Ponemon Institute to carry out the study and it is the first of its kind to actually distinguish private companies from public organisations.

The report proves that the costs of data loss are much greater for privately owned businesses than they are for public sector organisations, with UK enterprises faced with costs of 69 per compromised record, compared with 59 for public bodies.

Further analysis of the figures allows the true impact of data loss to be appreciated in full. The most significant costs resulting from data loss are incurred when a business loses out on future custom because the trust of its clients has been lost. Nearly 50 per cent of the costs can be attributed to this.

PGP’s CEO Phil Dunkelberger said that the figures were not inclusive of penalties imposed by regulatory bodies, although this did not detract from the clearly damaging nature of the average data loss on a business’ finances.

Mr Dunkelberger also said that customer trends would be altered as a result of a typical security breach, causing consumers to rely on cash payments in preference to cards and making it difficult to win new clients.

Despite clearly significant rises in costs, Mr Dunkelberger believes that some businesses are still not prepared to heed warnings as to the dangers of inadequate security.

Analyst Bob Tarzey commented on the report, saying that despite claims to the contrary, more businesses were concerned with the security of their data than ever before. Mr Tarzey said that businesses were not solely looking to protect themselves against the threat of a data security breach, but were interested in ensuring that when the inevitable occurs they are able to recover and continue to grow.

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