Businesses which suffer data breaches may find it difficult to attract suppliers and partners, a study has indicated.
Research conducted by Iron Mountain and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) revealed that 58 per cent of European mid-sized firms would steer clear of any company which has suffered a data breach.
This is despite 41 per cent believing that data loss is "an inevitable part of daily business".
Iron Mountain and PwC found that while 68 per cent of companies recognise that a responsible attitude to information is critical to business success, 47 per cent say their board does not see data protection as a big issue.
Some 43 per cent said their employees hold the same view - potentially leading to security exposure.
And while 44 per cent expect the risk of a data breach to increase, 60 per cent believe cutting costs is more important than reducing exposure to information risk.
Less than half (45 per cent) of all respondents have an information risk strategy in place and measure its effectiveness, the study found.
Some 38 per cent have a plan but do not know whether it works or not.
Christian Toon, risk and security specialist as Iron Mountain, said there is "a growing gap" between attitude and action at a time of increasing complexity and rising threats to information security.
"Businesses are unsure what to do or where to turn," he stated.
"It is critical that they adopt a responsible approach to information management, not just to deserve and preserve their brand reputation and customer loyalty, but to ensure that other firms will want to keep doing business with them.”
Claire Reid, risk assurance partner at PwC, claimed that too many European companies continue to undervalue their information assets and overestimate their ability to protect them.
"This is no longer a lack of awareness - it’s a lack of action. Information underpins market position and customer confidence, and any kind of information loss can deliver catastrophic reputational damage," she stated.
“As information breaches increase at a spectacular pace, European companies need to understand that failing to take action to safeguard information means they will almost certainly become a victim.”
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Posted by Alex Boardman