Data Breach Mistakes Feared More Than Hackers By Compliance Professionals

Monday, May 2, 2011 - 01:00

Seventy percent of compliance professionals feel that their organizations are well or very well prepared to fend off hacker attacks, however their confidence wanes significantly when assessing other data breach threats, according to a survey conducted by the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE) and the Health Care Compliance Association (HCCA). Fully 61 percent believed that an accidental breach by an employee was very or somewhat likely, and 41 percent felt the same way about accidental breaches by third-party vendors.

"The fear over unintentional breaches suggest that employees and vendors still don't fully understand the need to safeguard data, and despite training, people will still make mistakes," said Roy Snell, SCCE and HCCA chief executive officer. "Further training and hard controls that make it more difficult to share data are necessary," added Mr. Snell.

The efforts to raise employee sensitivities and improve control are likely behind the increasing time invested by business in privacy compliance. The survey found that 82 percent of those responding had invested more time on the issue of data privacy compliance in the previous year. This investment is expected to continue, with 77 percent of respondents indicating that they expect time spent on data protection and privacy to further increase during the next year.

"This is clearly a long-term challenge for compliance professionals and business," added Mr. Snell. "Business will continue to invest time and resources in ensuring that what's meant to stay private truly does state private."