Most Companies Fault Employees for Data Breaches

CUPERTINO, Calif., March 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Employee negligence or maliciousness is the root cause of many data breaches, according to a report – “The Human Factor in Data Protection” — released by Ponemon Institute and sponsored by Trend Micro Inc. (TYO: 4704;TSE: 4704), a global cloud security leader. Over 78 percent of respondents blame employee behaviors, both intentional and accidental, for at least one data breach within their organizations over the past two years. Click here for the full report.

The top three root causes of these breaches are employees’ loss of a laptop or other mobile data-bearing devices (35 percent), third party mishaps or flubs[1] (32 percent) and system glitches (29 percent). Alternatively, nearly 70 percent of those surveyed either agree or strongly agree that their organization’s current security activities are not enough to stop a targeted attack or hacker, according to the study which surveyed 709 IT and IT security practitioners in the United States.

The report reveals that even when employees make unintentional mistakes, most of these breaches are only discovered accidentally, according to 56 percent of respondents. Only 19 percent of respondents say that employees self-reported the data breach, making it difficult to promptly resolve the breach. Thirty-seven percent say that an audit or assessment revealed the incident and 36 percent say that data protection technologies revealed the breach.

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