Corporate data loss: How bad is it? (Part 1 of 2) Posted on March 29, 2012 by Tim Burke In the wrong hands, the sensitive data your business depends on becomes a weapon wielded against it. And it’s happening more often every day. Reports of intellectual property theft and hacktivism abound, and 2011 has been widely described as “the year of the data breach.” It’s not hard to see why. In 2011 alone, according to the nonprofit Online Trust Alliance, 126 million data records were compromised in the United States. Technology security firm Symantec reports that the theft of trade secrets has cost U.S. businesses more than $250 billion per year. What’s more, these thefts are increasing exponential and are expected to double within the next decade. And 83% of the 500 executives surveyed for IT trade group CompTIA’s most recent study on security in the workforce says that the security threat level they face is on the rise. One in five of those executives admitted their organizations suffered a loss of sensitive data in the past 12 months, and another 32 percent reported likely data loss. Meanwhile, the surge into corporate environments of smartphones and tablets also means unprotected sensitive data now proliferates on these devices. Fully 72% of the 768 IT professionals surveyed in January 2012 by Dimension Research see careless employees posing a greater security risk than hackers. Why? Because so many employees carry sensitive data on their smartphone and tablets, including customer data (47%), network login credentials (38%), corporate data residing in business apps (32%), and confidential notes (28%).