FOXBORO, Mass. -- Despite recognizing the need to secure business critical information, a majority of users do not secure the data stored on removable media such as USBs and memory sticks, according to a recent survey conducted by Utimaco, The Data Security Company. A third of survey respondents who used removable media also reported having lost their storage devices at least once, with many users reporting having lost a device more than once. The information stored on removable media devices included confidential information such as contract data, financial data and customer information.
"As the acceptance of removable media increases, so does the risk associated with unencrypted data on these devices," said Craig F. Bumpus, General Manager, Utimaco Americas. "Although negative publicity surrounding data breaches has highlighted the importance of securing data, our survey shows that many corporations still do not take steps to ensure that users encrypt business critical information stored on these devices. Given the types information they are storing and transporting, the potential for very damaging exposure is huge."
Other important findings from the survey included the following:
- 92% of respondents feel there is a need to protect the data on removable media devices.
- 60% of the data stored on removable media devices is not protected.
- Removable pocket media devices are highly accepted.
- 25% of respondents admit to storing business critical data on removable media devices. In addition to contract data, financial data and customer information, users also store personal account information, sales targets and contact data.
- Only 19% of respondents reported working for a company that either had a policy in place to regulate the use of removable media devices or had a technical solution to protect the data on removable media devices.
- 75% of respondents reported using more than one removable media device.
- On average, users reported relying on 7 removable media devices.
- Survey respondents reported having lost, on average, 2-3 devices.