Businesses 'fail to learn' from HMRC data loss disaster

Businesses appear to have failed to learn lessons from HM Revenue & Customs’ loss last year of 25 million records in the post, according to the results of a new survey.

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Businesses appear to have failed to learn lessons from HM Revenue & Customs’ loss last year of 25 million records in the post, according to the results of a new survey.

Employees are still sending sensitive data on CDs in the post, said the survey, just as an HMRC employee did .

But, according to the research commissioned by collaborative software supplier Axway, some employers are at fault. While staff often look for a method of sending data over networks, a quarter of businesses do not have a proper system in place.

Some 72 percent of the employees who send sensitive files by CD, and 51 percent of those who send such files by email, said they would rather use a secure system. One thousand office workers and 100 IT decision makers were interviewed for the research by Vanson Bourne and ICM.

This meant that users were aware of the security issues, but were forced to take a risk because of the lack of safe systems, the report said.

Alarmingly, only a third of IT professionals expressed a serious concern that staff were using CDs, USB sticks and laptops to transport files.

Dave Bennett, chief technology officer at Axway, said: “The issue is that secure alternative methods are not there and as a result, business are putting themselves at risk of data breaches.

“As with any investment, it is important to see how the benefits will outweigh the initial cost and protecting customer and employee data, trade secrets and brand image should be reason enough.”

Businesses needed to consider managed file transfer and data loss prevention systems to secure files and improve tracking, Axway said.

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