Careless Business Leaders Risk Companies this Christmas


BlockMaster (, a provider of secure USB flash drives, today reveals that almost two thirds of workers (58%) believe breaking a personal laptop costs more than losing data on a corporate USB device, indicating a worrying attitude to the value of company data. Younger workers appear to be more-savvy with a greater proportion (52%) stating that a USB device with exposed data would be more costly.

Anders Kjellander, CSO BlockMaster: “It is shocking but not surprising to see that so many workers are still unfazed by the cost of lost data, particularly those who are probably in high ranking positions such as CEOs, MDs and Board Directors of companies. Simply put, data is much more valuable than hardware. A broken laptop can be replaced but exposed data can never be retrieved, something that Wikileaks has made absolutely apparent – there is no retrieval of data once the breach has occurred. But hardware on the other hand can be replaced and repaired at a known and often very low cost. With the ICO able to fine organisations up to £500,000, we are urging organisations to review portable device policy to ensure data loss doesn’t expose them to a great risk.”

The research of over 1,000 UK office workers undertaken in December 2010 revealed attitudes to corporate versus personal devices this Christmas.

Other key findings included:
Christmas Party-goers Prefer Personal Possessions over Company Data
Losing a corporate portable device with data (29%) is seen as equally a big disaster as being snowed in overnight (30%), highlighting significant concern over lost devices, which are seen as bad as the recent snow storms which forced people to sleep on trains in freezing temperatures. Almost half (42%), however, claim that losing presents would be far worse this Christmas, highlighting that personal possessions are valued above company information, demonstrating a worrying trend as joyful but perhaps careless Christmas attitudes kick-in.

Kjellander continues: “Of course we all care more about our own phone or camera than a work device, but it is not about the device. It is about the data stored on it. Losing data is far worse than losing gadgets.

If organisations deploy managed secure storage devices that are linked to users and automatically protected with passwords, it will not only make a worker’s job easier, but they will also be able to enjoy the Christmas festivities without risking huge company fines and brand reputation.”

Worried Workers Won’t Admit to Losses
Whilst most respondents fear losing items, only 4% admit to ever actually losing their belongings at a Christmas party, a statistic that probably won’t match reality when you consider the amount of losses highlighted on social networks every day, such as mobile phones with some Facebook groups gaining 100,000 fans every month.

Kjellander concludes: “Until companies start implementing managed secure devices for data and educate employees on the potential cost of a data loss, the ICO will have a busy 2011 investigating data breaches long after the Christmas parties finish. So if you’re not yet protected, make sure data protection is part of your New Year’s resolution.”