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Human error causes more data loss than hackers

Human error is the most common cause of data loss, far outstripping instances of hacking and insecure webpages, according to the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Basic honest mistakes made by humans accounted for 62 per cent of data breaches reported to the body, almost seven times more than hacking and low security webpages combined (nine per cent).

Sending data to the wrong person was found to be the most frequent cause, with 17 per cent of cases down to data being posted or faxed to the wrong person. Lost or stolen paperwork made up an identical proportion.

Meanwhile, people simply typing the wrong email address caused nine per cent of data loss.

“The fact that so many breaches are caused by methods of working that are known data breach pitfalls – such as faxing and posting sensitive information, or using plaintext email – should be a major concern for all organisations,” said Tony Pepper, CEO of data security provider Egress Software Technologies, which published the findings following a Freedom of Information request.

Mr Pepper called on organisations to get a solid grasp on their current information security measures, and suggested that they rethink what kind of data is produced and handled by their staff.

He also suggested introducing a classification tool to mandate how data is treated and to ensure that the data intended for the public was released in the most suitable way.

Email encryption and secure online collaboration can help that ensure proper protection and control is applied to the data when it is released from the business environment, Mr Pepper added.

Written by for Comms Express

Image: scyther5 / iStockADNFCR-1186-ID-801820307-ADNFCR

Human error causes more data loss than hackers - Article Discussion

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