Corporate leaks go unnoticed


25 September 2006

Businesses are failing to deal with high levels of sensitive data inadvertently leaking out of their organisations, according to recently published research.

The study of senior security and risk professionals in large UK organisations reveals that despite deep concerns about the security of portable devices such as USB sticks, Ipods and Blackberries, little is being done.




The top three sources of identified risk for information leaks were portable devices (75%), e-mail attachments (63%) and e-mail content (59%).

Three-quarters of respondents said they are concerned about malicious breaches of information security, but equal concern was expressed over premeditated and inadvertent leaks.

Andrew Pearson, executive vice president of Europe at vendor Workshare, which conducted the survey, says most data is leaked inadvertently.

“Because of the historical focus on spam and viruses, companies are in a malicious threat state of mind and are less attuned to inadvertent leaks, which are responsible for 95% of all leaks,” he said.

Just 43% of respondents feel they have adequate policy enforcement in place for information security compliance, and 57% of organisations do not have a method of automatic enforcement for document security compliance, according to the survey.

Some 73% of organisations do not believe that converting a document to PDF makes it secure for distribution, but it remains the most common format for sharing documents online.

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