The Crown Records Management/Censuswide Survey of IT decision makers at UK companies with more than 200 employees revealed some shocking results as companies battle to keep information safe.
Only recently Carphone Warehouse made front page headlines after it suffered a cyber attack in which the personal information of up to 2.4m customers was put at risk.
Now businesses across the UK have admitted they too have suffered breaches. The Crown Records Management Survey revealed that a third of IT decision makers said their company had lost important data more than three times in the past. Another third had lost data between one and three times.
A quarter of respondents said they had reported a data breach in the past and two thirds knew someone whose computer had been hacked. A third also knew personally of cases where sensitive documents had been accidentally left somewhere.
Ann Sellar, Business Development Manager at Crown Records Management, a global information management expert,said: “These survey results should be a wake-up call for UK businesses because the importance of protecting customer data is higher than ever. Not only because of potential fines for data breaches (which will soon increase when the EU General Data Protection Regulation is ratified) but also because of growing public awareness.
“It takes on average 20 years to build a reputation but just five minutes to ruin it with a data breach and then up to two years to rebuild it. So businesses need to look at the way they protect their information, understand where the threats are and start putting robust processes in place to protect their customers. If they don’t I can only see the number of data breaches increasing in the next few years.”
The Survey also unveiled the personal problems experienced bv senior IT decision makers. The figures revealed that one in 9 respondents admit they had lost sensitive documents before and one in 10 admitted to leaving sensitive documents somewhere.
One in six say their personal computer has been hacked and another 4 out of 10 know someone whose computer has been hacked.
Ann Sellar added: “The figures are worrying but not surprising – although hacking is big news we estimate 80 per cent of data breaches come from human error. Businesses need to ensure they are doing everything they can to reduce this risk through staff training , robust procedures and working with approved, specialist suppliers to give them the best chance of protecting their data.”