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East Midlands Chamber News

One in ten firms’ losing confidential data daily

Eleven per cent of firms in the region reported that confidential information was lost from their organisation, according to research published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The 2013 Information Security Breaches Survey included 121 businesses spanning the East and West Midlands.

Based on the data they provided, 63 per cent of businesses in the region suffered a systems failure or data corruption incident in the previous year.

Fifty per cent of companies in the region admitted that their systems had been infected by viruses or malicious software.

And 25 per cent of businesses in the region had experienced theft or fraud involving the use of computers.

The majority of businesses in the region, 82 per cent, reported they had experienced a staff-related information security breach in the pervious year.

Misuse of email access (65%) was the most prevalent staff-related breach of information security followed by misuse of web access (56%), unauthorised access to systems or data (55%), loss or leakage of confidential information (24%) and breach of data protection laws (24%).

This comes as the Technology Strategy Board extends its Innovation Vouchers scheme to allow small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to bid for up to £5,000 from a £500,000 pot to improve their cyber security by bringing in outside expertise.

The Department is also publishing guidance to help small businesses put cyber security higher up the agenda and make it part of their normal business risk management procedures.
Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts, said: “Keeping electronic information safe and secure is vital to a business’s bottom line.

“Companies are more at risk than ever of having their cyber security compromised, in particular small businesses, and no sector is immune from attack.

“But there are simple steps that can be taken to prevent the majority of incidents.”

Commenting specifically on the regional picture in terms of cyber security, Neil Ward, Cyber Security Specialist at PwC in the East Midlands, said: “Businesses in the East Midlands are facing more advanced threats than ever before from unauthorised outsiders and the risks they pose mean that cyber security is gaining recognition as a boardroom issue.

“The business world has changed and companies of all sizes and across all industries are now routinely sharing information with business partners or employees’ personal devices.
“Business leaders need to make sure they are doing everything possible to protect information that is critical to their growth and reputation.”