Data loss serious in Indian enterprises

By : |November 4, 2009 0

BANGALORE, INDIA: Symantec has announced the findings of its study on the mounting risk of data loss in Indian enterprises. The study conducted by IDC (India) revealed that 79 per cent of organizations highlighted data loss to be their most serious information security concern followed by other threats like virus and denial of service attacks and spam.

"The need to protect sensitive information like source code, intellectual property, employee and customer accounts has made businesses realize that data loss can turn into a catastrophe and become a competition, compliance and credibility black hole", said Vishal Dhupar, managing director, Symantec India. "It is imperative that as part of their overall security strategy, enterprises protect their information proactively and know where confidential information resides with them, how this information is being used and how its loss can be prevented".

Despite data loss being considered as a looming threat, only 15 per cent of the surveyed organizations have adopted any form of data loss prevention measures. This was largely a result of low awareness (32 percent) amongst enterprises on the impact and consequence of data loss and how data loss prevention technologies could safeguard reputation and revenue of organizations.

According to respondents, more than 50 per cent of information residing within their organization is classified as sensitive. As the value and significance of information increases within organizations, instances of data loss are also on the rise. The study finds that more than 16 per cent of organizations in India admitted to facing a data loss issue in the recent past. The major causes for these data losses were traced to unaware users, malicious insiders and increasing external threats from hackers and cybercriminals.

As high instances of data loss hit Indian enterprises, 52 per cent respondents said that compliance and regulatory mandates was a major driver to prevent loss of data. Pressure from international clients was the driving force behind 24 percent organizations while business continuity was another important factor of consideration for many respondents.

Also, according to the survey, majority of users considered firewalls, log analyzers, intrusion prevention and intrusion detection solutions as adequate and appropriate data loss prevention measures. Amongst users of data loss prevention (DLP) technologies, 84 per cent had opted for ‘patch’ or ‘silo’ based implementation. In the non-users, 45 per cent felt ‘no real need’ for DLP since they felt that their existing security solutions were enough to keep their information safe. In addition, close to 30 per cent of all respondents faced data classification challenges while differentiating between sensitive and non-sensitive information within their organization.


Just as DLP is not simply a technological solution, protecting information is no longer just an IT concern, the company stresses in a press note. Preventing the loss of data is a business problem, and it requires a business solution. The findings of the study elucidated how DLP is today being addressed at the highest levels with the CIO, CTO or a technical committee having the final say on the deployment in approximately 76 per cent of organizations.


The company recommends that organizations must look beyond just installing products as that alone will not ensure success. "They should strive to achieve a sustainable DLP program that effectively addresses evolving risk factors and supports a culture of security. The Symantec study on risk of data loss in Indian enterprises was a focused study to highlight the DLP market, trends, usage, perception, awareness and implementation across verticals in the country. It polled more than 142 respondents across data intensive sectors like BFSI, Manufacturing, Media & Entertainment/ Telecom and IT/ ITeS to gain insight and understanding into some of the more complicated factors associated with data loss prevention."

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