- Almost three-quarters of U.S. companies say it’s likely their company has failed to detect a data breach, according to a new survey from the Ponemon Institute and co-authored by Kilpatrick Townsend.
- About 60% of those companies think that at least some of their data is now available to their competitors as the result of a breach.
- Negligent employees are believed to be the primary cause of such breaches, according to the survey of 600 respondents.
Survey respondents indicated they believe data such "product design, development and pricing, pre-release financial reports, strategic plans, and confidential information about existing relationships or anticipated transactions," have already made their way to their competitors at some point, according to the report.
Just 28% of respondents said they feel that their company is well-prepared to prevent a breach of sensitive company information. The primary reasons provided for those shortcomings included a lack of IT proficiency, an absence of clear leadership or a lack of collaboration.
A number of recent studies indicate that employees are indeed the weak link when it comes to enterprise cybersecurity. Larry Ponemon, found of the Ponemon Institute, suggests companies beef up their employee training programs.
"To address the employee negligence problem, ensure training programs specifically address employee negligence when handling sensitive and high value data," said Ponemon.
Such training can go a long way in preventing breaches, which are becoming more expensive. Last month, the Ponemon Institute and IBM revealed that expenses related to a data breach now cost U.S. companies an average of $7 million.