Most businesses not phased by PRISM, data protection laws – survey

Survey reveals the majority of companies are not at all concerned about the impact of PRISM and EU data protection laws on their businesses

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'Businesses need the appropriate technology behind them to help enforce IT policy'

 

A new survey of almost 400 global enterprise IT and business leaders has found that just 18% of organisations are concerned with PRISM and as little as 15% are worried about weak data protection laws in the EU.

However, the same survey, commissioned by Intralinks, found that a huge 90% of companies are primarily concerned about the accidental mishandling of data. Not only that, over half of these organisations are blocking employee access to online file sharing services like Dropbox in an attempt to protect their corporate IP.

These results shed an interesting light on the future of data privacy, and indicate strongly that the PRISM scandal has resonated with businesses much less than many in the industry believe.  

Instead, there needs to be more emphasis on creating stringent IT policies designed to mitigate the risks presented by data sharing outside of the corporate firewall, Intralinks said.

>See also: The big debate: do we need a privacy charter for the internet?

"It needs to be noted that blocking consumer-grade applications will not suffice when trying to prevent the accidental mishandling of data - employees can still access them through mobile devices, “ said Richard Anstey, CTO EMEA at Intralinks.

“Businesses need the appropriate technology behind them to help enforce IT policy."  

More than 400 senior business and IT leaders were surveyed from November 2013 to January 2014 and asked to identify the major data privacy and security concerns at their organisations.

The survey focused on enterprise level companies, with survey respondents representing a range of sectors including manufacturing, financial services, retail, healthcare, transportation, education and insurance.