British cyber security specialist, Becrypt, has published an advisory whitepaper for commercial leaders who have the responsibility for managing risk within the organisation and want to take a closer look at how the business is protecting its valuable data assets.

For many businesses, intrinsic value is derived from the unique IP, customer data, proprietary methodologies and other confidential information that’s stored digitally within their organisation. However, despite the huge amounts of money spent on cyber security, significant numbers of businesses are suffering potentially critical losses because of their failure to adequately protect their data, for example, data retrieved from a misplaced laptop or a disgruntled employee copying trade secrets on to a portable device.

Cath Hackett, VP of Product Portfolio at Becrypt, commented: “Cyber risk is fast emerging as one of the most significant risks to most businesses. The proliferation of mobile devices means that organisations can no longer point to their data centre as the repository of all their data. Data is everywhere and therefore harder to control. Should your company confidential information be disclosed to your competitors the impact could be significant and include lost sales, lost customers and lower profit margins.”

While the causes of data breaches are varied, the majority are a result of either malicious attack or human error.

Recent research into the root causes of data breaches found that 47 per cent involved a malicious or criminal attack, and 25 per cent involved a negligent employee or contractor.

Additionally, a UK government report highlighted IP theft as the most damaging cyber crime for UK businesses, resulting in a loss of £9.2bn a year.

Hackett continued: “Implementing effective risk management strategy starts with understanding the risk and how to manage it. Protecting valuable and sensitive information stored on laptops and mobile devices is critical, and depends on having the right combination of robust technology, effective management control, good policies and well-informed employees. Organisations can minimise the challenges by partnering with a knowledgeable security provider who has the acute understanding of how to exploit the benefits of mobile working whilst balancing the risks of enabling a truly mobile workforce.”