Feeds

What the heck was on that stolen laptop?

Cluelessness compounds data disclosure security flaps

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
Experian subsidiary faces MEGA-PROBE for 'selling consumer data to fraudster'
US attorneys general roll up sleeves, snap on gloves
Bad PUPPY: Undead Windows XP deposits fresh scamware on lawn
Installing random interwebs shiz will bork your zombie box
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.