Thousands of UK workers are putting their company’s data at risk by failing to erase data properly from broken devices.
According to the latest figures from data recovery firm Kroll Ontrack, which questioned over 1,100 working adults, 74 per cent of employees who didn’t or couldn’t recover data from a PC, laptop, removable drive or mobile last year, failed to ensure the information was erased properly before disposing of the device.
Kroll estimated this equates to 800,000 employees that could unwittingly be delivering valuable corporate data directly to fraudsters or competitors.
In total 34 per cent of the 3.1 million workers that lost data from a device couldn’t actually recover the information, but only 26 per cent of those questioned said they made sure the data on the broken device was erased professionally.
In addition, 15 per cent of those staff who lost information last year didn’t even bother to get it recovered professionally.
Robert Winter, chief engineer at Kroll Ontrack, said: “If a device is believed to be broken, employees can mistakenly think the data held is inaccessible, and as a result are less likely to be concerned about its safe erasure and disposal. They may give it away, sell it or even throw it away, increasing the chances it will fall into the wrong hands.
“Even data that’s been deleted is often simple for experts to restore, so employees and businesses should also consider end of life solutions for equipment that is working but no longer required, even if it’s thought to have been wiped,” he added.
On a more positive note, more employees recovered data from desktop computer drives, with 67 per cent successfully getting their information back and a further 49 per cent successfully recovered data from a removable media device.
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