Data Hung out to Dry as 4,500 USBs are Left in Dry CleanersUsers could face fines of up to £500k if they cause a data security breach!
London, 20th January 2010 - A survey released today reveals that in the last year, 4,500 memory sticks have been forgotten in people's pockets as they take their clothes to be washed at the local dry cleaners. From 6th April onwards if data is lost and it causes a major security breach, this could now cost a company up to £500k with new powers given to the Information Commissioner's office to fine companies who have not sufficiently protected customers details under the Data Protection Act .
However, when compared with the same study twelve months ago, the number of these devices languishing forgotten in people's pockets has halved, and yet it's still a staggering number of possible data breaches and a potential money spinner for the ICO.
However, the study sponsor - data security experts Credant Technologies, has a theory that this decline is likely to be a change in users' habits as opposed to a significant breakthrough in people's vigilance. In fact, its experience on the frontline of this battle is that users are now downloading information onto smartphones and netbooks, which have boomed in popularity in the last year, so although on the surface the decline looks promising in reality the situation has just been spread across a multitude of other devices.
Sean Glynn - vice president and chief marketing officer at Credant Technologies said "Although this study shows a positive drop in the number of lost memory sticks we would urge users to take more care than ever not to download unprotected customer details and other sensitive information that if lost could lead to a security breach, especially now there are harsh fines afoot. "
The survey was carried out in the UK to gauge the frequency and ease with which mobile devices, such as USB and memory sticks, are lost or forgotten in strange places such as dry cleaners and should warn people across the globe to demonstrate prudence when downloading information to carry around with them as it does frequently get lost. In previous studies conducted by Credant Technologies amongst taxi drivers in London and New York over 12,500 handheld devices such as laptops, iPods and memory sticks are forgotten at the back of taxis every 6 months!
Concluding Sean Glynn said "This survey is just one illustration of the stark truth that device losses are happening everywhere, everyday, worldwide. Organisations want to leverage the business benefits of mobile computing and provide their employees the flexibility to work wherever and whenever they want to. However, this must be balanced with the requirement of protecting the organisations data, especially to avoid penalties - such as that promised by the ICO, brand damage or even embarrassing press headlines. If sensitive or valuable data is being carried then people should protect it with encryption to prevent unauthorised access at any point - as it could easily end up in the wrong hands."
Not just USB sticks left at the dry cleaners...but wedding rings, lipstick and...
When asked to recall what the strangest objects were that they'd found in customers pockets most had found pens, lipstick, stockings and a wedding ring, however one unfortunate dry cleaner had found a pair of false teeth!
Notes to Editors
This survey was carried out amongst 100 dry cleaners during January 2010 across the UK.
About Credant Technologies
Credant Technologies is the market leader in endpoint data protection solutions. Credant's data security solutions mitigate risk, preserve customer brand, and reduce the cost of compliance, enabling business to "protect what matters." Credant Mobile Guardian is the only centrally managed endpoint data protection solution providing strong authentication, intelligent encryption, usage controls, and key management for data recovery. By aligning security to the type of user, device, and location, Credant permits the audit and enforcement of security policies across all computing endpoints. Strategic partners and customers include leaders in finance, government, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, technology, and services. Credant has been recognized by Inc. magazine as the #1 fastest growing security software company in 2008 and 2007; was selected by Red Herring as one of the top 100 privately held companies and top 100 Innovators; and was named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2005. Austin Ventures, Menlo Ventures, Crescendo Ventures, Intel Capital (NASDAQ:INTC), and Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) are investors in Credant Technologies. For more information, visit http://www.credant.com