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In Paul Miller’s new book “The Digital Workplace: How Technology is Liberating Work” we cover both the ups and the downs of digital working. Arguably one of the negatives is an increasing nervousness about the potential for data security breaches amongst organizations.

There are a number of trends which have the potential to make IT departments feel a little twitchy about data security. These include the increase in mobility and related devices, the growth of the cloud, the sheer number of online transactions, use of consumer tech in the workplace, social media, the interest in ‘big data’ and the growing sophistication of hacking groups.

There’s also some evidence to suggest that senior management are getting just as jumpy as IT and compliance department. For example a 2011 Websense survey of 1,000 IT Managers based in the US suggested that 35% of CEOs had got involved in talks about IT security having not previously been involved before after high-profile data security breaches, particularly WikiLeaks and those involving Sony.

Are they right to be nervous about security?

But are IT departments and leaders right to be a little nervous? The frequency of stories regularly appearing in the media about data breaches might suggest so. Various research surveys also strongly support this view. For example a recent Forrester survey of 2,300 IT executive suggested that 25% had experienced a data security breach in the previous year.

A survey released this month conducted by PwC s suggested the figure was even higher. The survey found 82% of large organisations in the UK reported security breaches caused by staff. One in seven large organisations in the UK detected hackers within their systems, 70% reported attempts by hackers to break into their network, and the average cost of the most serious data breach between

About the author

Steve-BynghallSteve Bynghall is a freelance consultant, researcher and writer specializing in the digital workplace, intranets, knowledge management, collaboration and other digital themes. He is DWG’s Research and Knowledge Lead, a benchmark evaluator and research analyst for DWG. Steve previously worked at accountancy firm BDO in a variety of knowledge roles, including managing its global extranet programme.

Connect with Steve on Twitter: @bynghall or on Google +.

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