Data loss prevention now a priority says research

According to Mike Burkitt, Launchpad Europe's technical director, after a period when data loss has been hitting the headlines - HSBC, RAF, Kaiser Permanente and the NHS, to name a few - businesses are finally starting to take data loss prevention seriously.

In its research, Launchpad Europe said that 93% of businesses worldwide are using data security tools to prevent confidential data loss.

Of the businesses surveyed so far, more than 80% have deployed email / web filtering and analysis technology, whilst 66% encrypt their hard drives.

Interestingly, researchers found that 51% of businesses audit and monitor employee computers, and 40% encrypt employee USB memory sticks.

Just eight percent of firms, however, use biometrics as a security measure.

Burkitt said that there is so much hype about data security and potential loss of confidential information that it's easy to feel daunted by the decision of what to do about it.

"Initial figures from our international survey show that the vast majority of businesses have taken at least some action towards preventing their confidential data from being leaked to criminals, competitors and the world at large", he said.

"As innovators try to get one step ahead by creating new ways of preventing confidential data leaks - and as businesses start taking the threat more seriously, we hope to see a downward trend in the number of embarrassing and legally compromising data leaks worldwide."

Interim results from the Launchpad Europe IT Security Index also indicated that two-thirds of companies will consider buying additional data security tools in the next 12 months.

According to Burkitt, just over 60% of companies are planning to look into hard drive encryption and / or employee computer monitoring and auditing software.

53%, meanwhile, said they will consider USB memory stick encryption and/or web analysis and filtering.

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