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Enterprise Data Continues To Leak, Study Says

More than one third of companies have experienced the loss of sensitive data in the last year

Despite efforts to keep sensitive data in house, many corporations continue to experience serious data leaks, according to a survey published earlier today.

In its seventh annual study of outbound email and data loss prevention issues, Proofpoint Inc. found that email continues to be the number one source of data loss risks in large enterprises. More than a third (35 percent) or respondents investigated a leak of confidential or proprietary information via email in the past 12 months, the study says.

At the same time, the number of data loss events associated with social media channels continued to increase. Twenty percent of companies investigated the exposure of confidential, sensitive or private information via a post to a social networking site, the study says.

Seven percent of companies terminated an employee for social networking policy violations. Twenty percent disciplined an employee for such violations. Fifty-three percent explicitly prohibit the use of Facebook, while 31 percent explicitly prohibit use of LinkedIn.

When it comes to data loss, the physical loss of laptops, smart phones and other mobile devices that contain sensitive information gives IT professionals the greatest cause for alarm, according to the survey. Sixty-four percent said they are highly concerned about this risk.

Fifty-six percent are highly concerned about data loss via email sent from mobile devices. Twenty-two percent investigated the exposure of confidential, sensitive or private information via lost or stolen mobile devices or storage media in the past 12 months.

Fifty-eight percent of respondents say that budget constraints have negatively impacted their organization's ability to protect confidential, proprietary, or sensitive information. Fifty-three percent say the same of IT staff reductions over the past year.

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Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

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