Our website uses cookies

Cookies enable us to provide the best experience possible and help us understand how visitors use our website. By browsing Infosecurity Magazine, you agree to our use of cookies.

Okay, I understand Learn more

Data hung out to dry as 4500 USB sticks left in dry cleaners

Listen to your mother: Remember to clean your pockets before dropping off the laundry.
Listen to your mother: Remember to clean your pockets before dropping off the laundry.

The security research, carried out amongst 100 dry cleaners, was extrapolated to all the dry cleaners in the UK, with the sponsors of the survey – Credant Research – saying that each left data stick could cause the Information Commissioner's Office to levy a six figure fine if the USB drives contain any confidential company data.

Sean Glynn, Credant's vice president, said that, although this year's security study compares favourably with a similar survey a year ago – which found twice the number of lost USB sticks at dry cleaners – users still need to take more care as customer details are increasingly being stored on the USB drives.

"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", he said.

According to Glynn, the survey is just one illustration of the stark truth that device losses, such as USB sticks, are happening everywhere, everyday, worldwide.

Organisations, he explained, 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", he said. "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", he added.

What’s Hot on Infosecurity Magazine?