Many Firms Unaware of Data Leaks

July 26, 2006 ( - A new survey conducted by Insight Advantage and sponsored by IT security company Workshare shows organizations are not doing enough to prevent IT data breaches and the loss of sensitive data.

The large majority (94%) of survey respondents reported having no visibility into the number of e-mail messages containing confidential or private information leaving their organization each month or even believed some leaks were occurring, according to an article on the TechNewsWorld Web site. Eighty percent of respondents reported having information leaks through e-mail or other electronic channels, such as Blackberrys or HTTP links, or admitted no visibility to leaks that occurred within their organization last year.

Only 6% of responding companies reported no information leaks and about 17% said they were afraid to know how many leaks they had in their organizations, according to the Web report.

More than half of firms participating in the survey said they do not have a specific method for enforcing data privacy and document security policies, Workshare spokesman Dave McKee said, according to TechNewsWorld.

Peter Christy, a principal at the market analysis firm, Internet Research Group, said a holistic approach is needed to help small and large firms secure their content, according to the news report. A security system should be integrated entirely into the networks of corporations to provide comprehensive security, and not just examine outbound e-mail messages, he said.

The survey was based on interviews with 359 executives responsible for security, compliance, risk management and legal issues at large organizations in North America.