4,500 USBs left at dry cleaners

A survey reveals that in the last year, 4500 memory sticks have been forgotten in people’s pockets as they take their clothes to be washed at the local dry cleaners. From 6th April onwards if data is lost and it causes a major security breach, this could now cost a company up to £500,000 with new powers given to the Information Commissioner’s office (ICO) to fine companies who have not sufficiently protected customers details under the Data Protection Act.

However, when compared with the same study twelve months ago, the number of these devices languishing forgotten in people’s pockets has halved, and yet it’s still a staggering number of possible data breaches and a potential money spinner for the ICO.

The survey was carried out in the UK to gauge the frequency and ease with which mobile devices, such as memory sticks, are lost or forgotten in strange places such as dry cleaners and should warn people across the globe to demonstrate prudence when downloading information to carry around with them as it does frequently get lost.

Sean Glynn from Credant Technologies said “This survey is just one illustration of the stark truth that device losses are happening everywhere, everyday, worldwide. Organizations want to leverage the business benefits of mobile computing and provide their employees the flexibility to work wherever and whenever they want to. However, this must be balanced with the requirement of protecting the organizations data, especially to avoid penalties – such as that promised by the ICO, brand damage or even embarrassing press headlines. If sensitive or valuable data is being carried then people should protect it with encryption to prevent unauthorized access at any point – as it could easily end up in the wrong hands.”

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