One in Six Enterprises Impacted by Data Loss

According to the latest Symantec-IDC report, nearly one out of every
six Indian enterprises is impacted by critical issues of data loss. The
report titled “Risk of data loss in Indian enterprises, 
respondents (which include CIOs/ CTO/ IT Head and IT Manager from
verticals such as BFSI, Media & Entertainment, IT/ITeS, and
Telecom) were not clear about how data loss prevention (DLP) can help
them in safeguarding revenue and reputation. Interestingly to note is
that more than 50% of data is highly sensitive in enterprises, where
majority of data is in the form of source code, intellectual property,
employee and customer accounts.

a Key Concern

According to the survey, 59% of employees carried confidential data
when they left the organization and moved to another one. The study
also revealed that 79% of respondents ranked data loss as the highest
information security being their main concern followed by concerns such
as denial of services, compliance, spam, virus attacks, and
unauthorized access.Vishal Dhupar, Managing Director, Symantec India
and SAARC, “There is so much of volume of data. But what data
do you really want to protect”. According to Dhupar, data
loss or threats is not because of external hackers but mainly because
of internal employees who have the tendency to leak information. He
also believed that the recent downturn was also one of the major
reasons for growth of data loss and threats in enterprises. According
to him, downturn can cause people (mainly who have been laid off) to
leak information or sent out confidential data outside an organization
which is more dangerous than a hacker outside the organization.


So what kind of trends are contributing to these factors? First and
foremost, the increasing usage of netbooks and laptops. The trend is
towards growth of mobile workforce. The Gartner Consumer report
suggests that laptop market will continue to grow by 37% in 2009 to
3.69 million units. However another trend connected to laptop is the
increasing incidents of thefts.  Companies lose a major chunk
of their data through incidents of thefts of laptops and this data is
non-recoverable. Secondly, there has also been an increasing adoption
of mobile storage devices and smartphones. According to a market data
by Ascenda, the smart phone markets are expecting a CAGR of 23% by

It is also important that employees also going through physical checks,
apart from the virtual checks that takes place in enterprises. With the
usage of pen drives, CDs, and laptops in enterprises, it is important
to keep a check on employees usage on data and whether data is being
transferred or leaked to any of the devices such as laptop, pen drive,
or CDs. Interesting to note here is that 79% of the respondents
contacted for the survey admitted that their former employer did not
permit them to leave with company data.

The survey also suggests that a total of 15% of the respondents have
adopted some form of data loss prevention measures. Of this the BFSI
sector (33%) and IT/ITeS (30%)  sectors were early users of
DLP technologies. For 88%  organizations, information security
is the primary reason for deploying DLP, while compliance and
regulatory mandates (52%) was a key driver to prevent data loss.

Sustainable Way Out

According to the survey, a sustainable DLP program that could achieve a
culture of security among its employees and address risk factors is key
for any organization. The report suggests that Installing products is
not the only way out to ensure success but to implement compliance
requirements and risk management programs is essential. Indian
enterprises should see technology as an enabler and not as an

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