Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

McAfee: Data Loss Still Major Threat

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- McAfee, Inc. (NYSE: MFE), today revealed new research indicating that while most American companies are investing in technology and policy to secure sensitive data from outside attacks, the threat of data loss at the hands of their own employees is what should have their attention. The study, conducted for McAfee by Illuminas, surveyed 300 office workers across the United States at companies with at least 200 employees. More than two-thirds of responses came from organizations with more than 1,000 employees.

The research suggests that most U.S. companies are establishing corporate policies to prevent data loss, with the overwhelming majority of respondents
(84 percent) saying their company has a formal policy in place regarding the treatment of sensitive information. However, the research also reveals that many employees consistently disregard those policies. For example, 21 percent of all respondents admitted to leaving a confidential or sensitive document on a printer tray, and 22 percent said they sometimes lend to colleagues the portable devices on which they store work documents.

Key findings that demonstrate the danger American employees are posing to corporate security include:

    * Eighty-four percent of respondents said their organization has a policy regarding the treatment of sensitive information, with that group citing shredding (69 percent), locks (47 percent) and passwords (51 percent) among the ways to manage it. However:
  • More than a quarter (26 percent) of all respondents do not shred confidential or sensitive documents when they have finished with them
  • Twenty-one percent of all respondents admitted to leaving a confidential or sensitive document on a printer tray
  • Eighty-eight percent of respondents who said they transfer customer data outside the organization said they use e-mail to do the transfer, and:
  • 23 percent of that group also said they use Web-based e-mail to transfer this data out of the workplace
  • While nearly four out of every 10 respondents (38 percent) take up to 10 documents out of the office each week on portable devices such as laptops
    (41 percent), USB memory sticks (22 percent) and CD-ROMs (13 percent):
  • More than one in every five respondents (22 percent) physically lend the portable devices on which they store work documents to colleagues

McAfee Inc. (NYSE: MFE)