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Sept. 3, 2015 — The extent of data breaches in facilities management in the United Kingdom has been unraveled by a survey that reveals three-quarters have lost important data and two-fifths have been hacked — more than in any other sector.
The Crown Records Management/Censuswide Survey of IT decision makers at UK companies with more than 200 employees revealed some shocking results as companies battle to keep information safe.
Data breaches are already big news following a cyber attack on Carphone Warehouse which put the personal information of up to 2.4 million customers at risk, while the dating website Ashley Madison's infidelity scandal made front page headlines when hackers stole and then published subscriber data.
Now those working in facilities management have admitted they too have suffered breaches. The Crown Records Management Survey revealed:
• Three quarters of IT decision makers in FM said their company had lost important data – this was the biggest figure across all sectors. In insurance, for instance, it was 55 percent, banking 60 percent, and pharmaceutical 60 percent.
• Almost a fifth had done so four to six times – and a frightening 4 percent had lost data 13 to 15 times.
• Two-fifths reported their company had suffered a hack – only the public sector came out worse.
• Two-fifths knew someone whose computer had been hacked.
• Almost a fifth knew personally of cases where sensitive documents had been left somewhere.
“These survey results should be a wake-up call for UK businesses, and especially those in facilities management, because the importance of protecting customer data is higher than ever," said Ann Sellar, business development manager at Crown Records Management and a global information management expert. This, she added, is "not only because of potential fines for data breaches (which will soon increase when the EU General Data Protection Regulation is ratified) but also because of growing public awareness.
“It takes on average 20 years to build a reputation but just five minutes to ruin it with a data breach and then up to two years to rebuild it. So businesses need to look at the way they protect their information, understand where the threats are, and start putting robust processes in place to protect their customers. If they don’t, I can only see the number of data breaches increasing in the next few years.”
The survey also unveiled the personal problems experienced by senior IT decision makers. The figures revealed:
• More than a quarter of respondents admit they have lost sensitive documents before – by far the worst figure across all sectors. In the public sector the figure was only 7 percent.
• One fifth admit to leaving sensitive documents somewhere – once again the biggest figure across all sectors. In the legal sector the figure was just 4 percent.
• More than a quarter say their personal computer has been hacked.
• Two-fifths know someone whose computer has been hacked.
“The figures are worrying but not surprising – although hacking is big news, we estimate 80 percent of data breaches come from human error – and this is particularly true in facilities management," Sellar said. "Businesses need to ensure that they are doing everything they can to reduce this risk through staff training, robust procedures, and working with approved, specialist suppliers to give them the best chance of protecting their data.”
The survey was conducted by Censuswide in April 2015. Sample: 407 IT decision makers in companies with at least 200 employees.
For more information about Crown Records, visit www.crownrms.com.