Report: Staff pose greatest risk to data security

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Employee behaviour poses the greatest risk to company data, according to a new report by law firm DMH Stallard.

The report, Secure your data protect your business, was co-authored by David Seall and Frank Jennings, features interviews with senior executives from eight companies, including online retailer ASOS, industrial engineers Voith Engineering Services and infrastructure as a service provider Ospero.

When you talk about data security, you are also talking about the employees' data. Not just your customers.

Its findings show that, while data breaches were "sometimes due to deliberate behaviours designed to hurt the company... in the majority of cases it was employees deploying work around' solutions to [try] do their day-to-day work."

The report also suggests that imposing tight restrictions on who can access data increases the risk of a breach taking place.

Teaching respect for data

The report's findings were made public at an event in London this week called Securing Data in the Data Explosion.

Speaking at the event, Michelle Tolmay, security officer at ASOS, said: "One of the things our staff have paid the most attention to is when you make them realise that when you talk about data security, you are also talking about their own data. Not just your customers'.

"It is when you start saying this to your staff that they start to care and become protective over data," she added.

Jane McCallion
Deputy Editor

Jane McCallion is ITPro's Managing Editor, specializing in data centers and enterprise IT infrastructure. Before becoming Managing Editor, she held the role of Deputy Editor and, prior to that, Features Editor, managing a pool of freelance and internal writers, while continuing to specialize in enterprise IT infrastructure, and business strategy.

Prior to joining ITPro, Jane was a freelance business journalist writing as both Jane McCallion and Jane Bordenave for titles such as European CEO, World Finance, and Business Excellence Magazine.