35% of businesses have lost data due to flawed IT security

10 Jan 2013
Virus News

More than one third of IT specialists admit their companies have suffered a data breach due to malware infection. But malware isn’t the only cause and when data leakage occurs it’s not just the company and its employees that are affected – the customers are too. That’s why businesses need to implement robust multi-level protection across their IT infrastructure.

Key Numbers

  • Survey conducted by B2B International and Kaspersky Lab in July 2012 polled 3300 senior IT professionals from 22 countries
  • The most common external causes of data loss are malware infection (35%), attacks via email (21%) and phishing (17%)
  • 25% of IT specialists cite vulnerabilities in installed applications as the most common internal cause of data loss
  • Companies lose customer information (36%), financial data (36%) and employee data (31%)

Survey Results

There are many external and internal causes of data leakage. According to a B2B International survey, 35% of IT specialists said their companies had lost data due to malware infection – the most common external threat. The next most common causes are email-based attacks (21%) and phishing (17%).

When it comes to internal threats, the loss of important data is most often caused by vulnerabilities in a company’s software (25%) that cybercriminals exploit to infect victim computers. This type of risk can be eliminated by implementing a comprehensive protection system which offers control over potentially vulnerable software, and by educating employees in the risks of downloading unfamiliar applications.

A high proportion of data leaks were from mobile devices: 23% of respondents identified the loss and 15% the theft of a mobile device as the cause of a data breach. In 13% of cases, important information fell into the wrong hands due to negligence, for example, sending messages to the wrong email address.

What types of data do companies lose? Customer information and financial data, both at 36%, are lost most often. This is closely followed by employee data - lost or stolen in 31% of cases. Whatever the causes, data loss affects everybody: the company, its employees and its customers.

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Petr Merkulov, Chief Product Officer
Kaspersky Lab

"The range of cyber-threats that can lead to data loss illustrates just how important it is for every company to implement multi-level protection over its IT infrastructure. A corporate security solution must protect against both external and internal threats using the right tools for the job: anti-malware technologies, corporate security policies, data leakage prevention methods, and so on. I’m glad to say you can find all these security measures and more in Kaspersky Lab’s business solutions."

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