Data breach four-times worse than CEO quitting – BT study

24 Mar 2016

New research undertaken by Amárach for BT Ireland has shown that a company’s data protection is priority No 1, with a data breach considered four-times worse than a CEO quitting.

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The likelihood of a company suffering a data breach has increased tenfold in today’s age of heightened cyberattacks and an abundance of devices connected to the internet of things (IoT).

Future Human

In the last few days alone, three hospitals in the US have been the victims of ransomware attacks, with attackers demanding cash to allow the hospital’s IT staff to gain access once again to their servers.

A recent poll conducted for BT Ireland has highlighted that data protection concerns are shared by both those at the coal face of a company’s security operation, and by those at the highest level of the company as well.

Data protection more important than financial health

The poll, of 115 senior Irish IT decision makers in companies with an average employee size of 300 staff, showed that fear of a data breach is now the biggest worry for a company, four-times bigger than the sudden departure of an influential CEO.

Likewise, of those polled, 67pc said they believe that a company’s statements to investors should specifically address data management capabilities in the future and, additionally, 62pc said they believe that future investors will use data management capabilities to assess a company’s financial health, just as they do with profits and assets currently.

Shay Walsh, managing director of BT Ireland, said of the study’s findings: “Our research reveals that Ireland’s savvy IT leaders recognise and understand the need for their employers to invest in the right infrastructure now that will enable them to better manage and extract value from data and, ultimately, protect themselves from serious data management risk in the future.”

Boardroom discussion image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic