Feeds

What the heck was on that stolen laptop?

Cluelessness compounds data disclosure security flaps

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Four in five (81 per cent) US firms have lost at least one laptop containing sensitive data in the last year, according to a new study.

The Confidential Data at Risk (PDF) survey of 500 IT pros by Ponemon Institute was sponsored by data loss prevention firm Vontu, which is using it in the time honored tradition of talking up the need for its security products. However the idea that US businesses are struggling to prevent the loss of confidential data presented in the survey rings all too true, especially following several recent incidents where laptop loss has sparked major security flaps.

Often firms don't have a clue where their sensitive or confidential business information resides within the network or enterprise systems, further compounding the problem. Two in three (64 per cent) of firms responding to the survey said they've never carried out an inventory of customer information. The same percentage said an inventory of employee data had never been carried out at their organisation. Many recent consumer data disclosure SNAFUs have been sparked by the loss of staff laptops but the loss of other portable storage devices or compromised server systems can also results in the exposure of sensitive data. PDAs and laptops ranked highest among storage devices posing the greatest risk for sensitive corporate data, followed by USB memory sticks, desktop systems, and shared file servers.

Queried on how long it would take to determine what actual sensitive data was on a lost or stolen computer or mobile device the most frequent answer by survey respondents was "never" - ranging from 24 per cent for a file server to 62 per cent for an employee's home computer.

"Corporations are clearly struggling with the challenges of identifying and protecting sensitive data, as well as developing successful strategies for securing confidential information stored among the myriad devices that make up today’s data networks," said Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.