Today’s businesses are more security conscious than ever. With exploding
amounts of data in circulation the risk of security breaches, leaks or loss has
never been higher.
Most organisations and industry commentators have focused on viruses, hackers and malicious information leaks and many have ignored the real threats emerging in the four key areas of privacy, intellectual property, the mobile workforce and corporate compliance.
The volume of information, Web 2.0 and mobility have created a new cause for concern that, while not as troubling for the masses, is the greatest risk to the loss of business information. The risk in terms of customer loyalty, financial, legal and brand reputation is acute. Analyst firm Datamonitor has
estimated the cost of a data breach to be $1.86m (£0.9m).
The TJX security breach, which many experts cite as the biggest
privacy breach ever, illustrated the very real and growing threat of customer and corporate data loss. The cost to date for TJX is estimated to be more than $5m, but the long-term impact on its brand, financial performance and customer loyalty is yet to be fully realised.
However, data theft can come in all forms and organisations must find ways to protect themselves. Illustrating the need to prevent the downloading of information onto mobile and removable storage devices was the case of two former Ferrari engineers who were convicted of industrial espionage as a result of stealing intellectual property that would later be used to develop designs for a rival car company.
Consumer loyalty is no longer a given and customer experience can account for 38 per cent of margins, 40 per cent of revenue growth and 38 per cent of shareholder value, according to Accenture.
So why are companies failing to take the appropriate measures for privacy and corporate compliance, and lacking protection for their intellectual property and mobile workforce? Unless they address these key concerns, they will see customers walking out of the door.
Brian Spector is general manager of content protection product group at Workshare.
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