Data Security, a Burning Issue Post HMRC Data Breach

Information officers at enterprises are presently highly concerned regarding data breaches.

Ever since the Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) disaster, more incidents of public data loss from various departments of the central government have been noticed. A number of other public agencies have reported data loss following the fiasco at HMRC when discs containing unencrypted database on child benefit belonging to 25 Million residents of the UK went missing in mail.

At the recently London-hosted CSO Interchange, where chief security officers gathered to voice their opinion, 60% of the senior security experts said that they had only partial idea about the place where data of their customers were stored, and also limited power to control it.

Qualys' Chairman and CEO, and CSO Interchange's Co-founder, Philippe Courtot, said that over 70% of all security officers present at the CSO Interchange forum believed that providing network security and maintaining secrecy of their data was now even more difficult. Vnunet published this in news on December 10, 2007.

Courtot added the data breach at HMRC and other similar breaches recently are compelling to make this issue public. It is, therefore, necessary to consider such matters seriously as well as rethink the process of providing security online. The time is now ripe for the government and industry alike to take hold of the initiative, Courtot concluded.

During the debate at the forum, strong concerns were voiced about data theft with 32% of the attendees saying that they knew the place where their company's client data was stored or if appropriate controls were deployed. Further, a low 9%, although not unimpressive, were far from considering data theft as a unique issue.

Members of the forum clearly saw risk management as the most essential driver behind strategic security, and executives agreed there was need for improvement. Half of the participants at the forum felt there was room for reducing the effect of threats on their organization and also the impact of financial aid in mitigating those threats.

Attendees also recognized the risk from insiders of their organizations with 75% believing this to be greater than external risks.

Related article: Data Theft Incidents Influence Consumers Adversely

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