UK Financial Services Companies Vulnerable to Data Theft Reveals Survey
LogLogic survey finds 76 per cent of UK's biggest financial services companies unable to track and trace potential theft
While 86 per cent of large UK financial services companies report that their enterprise data is mission critical, 76 per cent reveal that that they do not currently have systems in place to track and trace potential data theft according to a survey commissioned by LogLogic, the log management and intelligence company. Of those companies who report having systems in place to monitor IT data, 57 per cent say it takes them several days to identify security breaches involving data theft and just 19 per cent report they are able to perform the appropriate forensics within one working day.
"Despite the potential liabilities and risk to their companies, it is startling that IT directors in the UK are largely unable to perform simple forensics to determine data theft," said Ross Brewer, Managing Director of European Operations for LogLogic. "Equally disturbing is that relatively few companies even have the ability to properly monitor employee movements and the data linked to those employees, while acknowledging the awareness of the risks of reputational damage, theft of intellectual property and potential fraud."
The survey, which was carried out by Vanson Bourne, polled senior IT directors in 25 of the largest (over 1,000 employees) UK financial services companies.
The research found that of those financial services companies that do not have a system to track data theft, 94 per cent report that they are 'concerned' and cite a lack of budget as the key reason for the failure to address the security issue. Monitoring or tracking employees was also a concern with 29 per cent of those financial services companies surveyed reporting that they are not immediately aware when an employee leaves or is terminated from their organisation. Further compounding the issue, over one third of those surveyed admitted that they do not know how employees' data is handled before or after they leave.
Ironically, this same survey found that 86 per cent report that meeting data compliance legislation is a current priority in their organization, with 52 per cent acknowledging that the US Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) regulation is relevant to their operations. SOX mandates companies have strict policies regarding data retention, security, and audit trails that clearly determine how employee data is handled at termination.
Roy Illsley, senior research analyst at Butler Group, Europe's leading IT research and advisory organistaion comments, "Today's knowledge based workers regularly use e-mail, Internet browsing, and Instant Messaging (IM) as tools to conduct company business. While organisations have constructed elaborate defences to protect them from external threats, such as firewalls and encrypted passwords, most ignore the threat from within. Corporate data, some of which may be confidential, can be transferred via a wide range of methods (e.g. memory sticks, CD, DVD, e-mail, and IM) allowing this data to be removed from the employers corporate data repository and used for nefarious purposes, such as blackmail or selling trade secrets. It's vital that organisations recognise how simple it is for infringements to take place and take appropriate preventative action."
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