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IT experts admit to carelessness despite increased data loss concerns

Date: 19 Dec 2011

Citywealth

Recent survey reveals a third of IT professionals have lost unencrypted portable storage devices despite believing data loss to be a ‘serious and growing’ concern.

Nearly a third (32.2 per cent) of IT professionals surveyed in a recent poll admitted to losing portable storage devices containing either corporate or personal information. The survey of 512 respondents carried out at four separate information technology and security events in the UK, also found over half (57 per cent) of respondents confessed to carrying unencrypted data on USB sticks, portable hard drives and optical media, despite 98.6 per cent acknowledging data loss to be a ‘serious and growing’ concern.

The survey, conducted by a leading specialist in portable storage and digital encryption iStorage, also revealed nearly all of the respondents thought using encrypted portable hard drives would be ‘preferable’ to unprotected devices for daily use. iStorage’s survey coincided with a number of organisations being found guilty by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) of breaching the Data Protection Act following the loss of unencrypted USB flash drives.

Key findings from survey of 512 IT professionals:

· 57.5% admitted the data they carried was not encrypted

· 32.2% have lost a portable device containing personal and/or company data

· 98.6% believed data loss to be a serious and/or growing concern

· 96.3% felt encrypted hard drives are preferable to unprotected drives for daily use

John Michael, managing director of iStorage, said: “The survey’s results are disappointing and alarming at the same time because our respondents should be setting a better example. Despite nearly all of the IT experts we questioned acknowledging data loss to be a serious and growing concern it seems many are not connecting that to their own data security procedures, with nearly a third admitting to losing a portable device containing confidential data. This is putting themselves and their organisations at risk.”

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