'Off-Network Data' Is Major Security Threat For Companies

'Off-Network Data' Is Major Security Threat For Companies
'Off-Network Data' Is Major Security Threat For Companies 1801989 

By Sharon Gaudin
August 23, 2007 01:38 PM

A new study shows that 73% of companies have had a data loss in the past 
two years, but they've made only limited efforts to shore up their 
defenses and their protect data.

The study [1], which is being presented today at Harvard University's 
Privacy Symposium, reported that the majority of companies put their 
data at risk when devices like laptops and portable storage devices 
leave company walls.

"Protecting data that is stored on devices outside the confines and 
control of the corporate network is a problem for which many companies 
simply do not have a solution," said Larry Ponemon, founder and chairman 
of the Ponemon Institute, in a statement. "Our research shows that, 
while most companies recognize the risk off-network data poses, few seem 
to have a grasp on how to manage the many challenges off-network data 
present to maintaining a strong data security program, and many do not 
even have a policy to address the situation."

According to Ponemon, the study showed that 62% of those surveyed said 
they are unsure if their off-network equipment contains unprotected 
sensitive or confidential information, while 39% do not view managing 
this equipment as a critical security step.

With recent security breaches at the likes of Boeing, the Veteran's 
Administration and the FBI making headlines, Ponemon reported that 70% 
of data breaches result from the loss of equipment that leaves the 
confines of the corporate environment and either heads out on the road 
with mobile workers or home with teleworkers.

And it's possible that the numbers are worse than reported since 30% 
said they would never detect the loss or theft of confidential data from 
off-network equipment.


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