Data breaches in Irish companies commonplace, says survey

22 Jan 2014

Employees in Irish companies are potentially negligent to large data breaches and must do more to protect themselves, a survey released today suggests.

The Irish Computer Society (ICS) conducted the survey among 256 companies. The results reveal either a total lack of understanding of data protection or individuals flagrantly breaking the rules in place.

According to the data, 51pc of companies reported a data breach, while 22pc admitted to having multiple breaches in the past year.

Management in these companies laid the blame firmly at the feet of what they define as ‘negligent’ employees, citing them as 77pc of all data breaches in their companies.

The ICS has pinpointed a serious lack of understanding among employees regarding the regulations around data security, stating that more than one-third of employees are not sufficiently aware of them while a further 40pc of staff have claimed they have never received any formal training regarding data breaches.

Not doing enough

Some of the most common data breaches amongst employees might not even appear to them as breaking regulations, as they involve taking their work home with them. According to another survey performed by Safetica, 12pc of employees have admitted they can access company data they shouldn’t be allowed to. When asked how they would react if the rules were explained to them, 5pc of employees would stop taking files home if they knew it wasn’t allowed and 10pc said they would stop using social media in work.

Despite these claims, the companies surveyed have apparently been given little encouragement to enforce these rules. Some 63pc of companies claimed their data is important, while only 36pc impose any handling restrictions.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic