Employees haven't a clue about USB data loss

Nearly two thirds of employees wrongly appraise the value of company data, believing that losing a USB device with sensitive material on it is less costly than breaking a laptop.

The unsettling trend was exposed by data security firm BlockMaster, which said it was “shocking but not surprising” that staff did not recognise the costs involved in company data breaches.

58 percent of workers believed that a broken laptop was a bigger financial worry than lost data, but the number was slightly lower, at 52 percent, for younger employees.

Being snowed in overnight was seen as a bigger cause of concern for workers, with 30 percent picking that over the 29 percent who picked losing a device with corporate data on it. 42 percent were more concerned about losing Christmas presents.

“Simply put, data is much more valuable than hardware,” said Anders Kjellander, Chief Security Officer of BlockMaster. “A broken laptop can be replaced but exposed data can never be retrieved, something that Wikileaks has made absolutely apparent – there is no retrieval of data once the breach has occurred. But hardware on the other hand can be replaced and repaired at a known and often very low cost.”

Kjellander pointed out that the ICO could fine organisations up to half a million pounds for data breaches, which makes the cost of repairing or replacing a broken computer tiny in comparison.