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Jail Sentence for CEO Seen as Fitting Punishment As Economic Downturn

Puts Organisations under More Pressure to Protect Against Data Loss Say E-Crime Congress Survey Respondents

An international survey of 104 security professionals conducted by Websense at this year’s e-Crime Congress reveals that 93% of respondents believe companies are under more pressure to protect against data loss due to the current economic climate. 


Furthermore, security professionals also unanimously believe that businesses exposing consumers’ confidential data through a serious data breach should be punished for security negligence. 


-          Nearly a third (30%) think that CEOs and board members should face imprisonment for exposing consumers’ confidential data, (representing an increase of 5% from last year’s survey)

-          62% believe companies should be fined

-          68% call for compensation for consumers affected


The survey also reveals that little improvement has been made with regard to organisations’ approach to security with more than 50% of respondents suggesting this is due to businesses not taking action as they are not legally required to do so.


“This research shows that security is still an important concern to all security professionals,” says Mark Murtagh, Technical Director, Websense. “The call for severe penalties reveals the need for businesses to step up to the mark and better understand the implications of a data breach. By taking active steps like using a DLP solution to trace inbound as well as outbound data leaks, and having visibility of where important and valuable data sits, companies greatly reduce the risk of becoming a statistic.”


Other survey results:


Data loss prevention not a priority until legislation is passed

46.6% of respondents reason that data loss is not a priority because of cost cutting during the economic downturn. More than half of respondents also think that companies are not taking action against data loss because there are no legal requirements to do so; this is compared with 22% in 2008.


Organisations under pressure due to recession

Findings show that 93% of those surveyed consider the average organisation is under more pressure to protect against data loss as a result of the economic downturn. Key drivers for data loss include:


-          Disgruntled employees receiving pay cuts or redundancy (73%)

-          Employees taking confidential data with them when leaving the company (73%)

-          Companies not prioritising security due to cost-cutting measures (62%)

-          Companies not understanding where confidential data resides due to internal changes (51%)


The economic downturn makes organisations more vulnerable

Respondents think that organisations that experience a serious data breach are also more vulnerable to:

-          Bankruptcy (52%)

-          Share price reduction (59%)

-          Loss of customers (81%)

-          Risk of take-over (38%)


Responsibility lies with C level executives and board members:

-          66.7% of respondents believe that C-level executives and the board should be held responsible for a data breach whilst a quarter of respondents believe that responsibility should lie solely with the CEO.

-          Only 4.3% believe that an external government body should take responsibility.

-          Results from last year showed that a mere 5% of security professionals would hold the IT department responsible; this has more than tripled to 15.9% this year.


The sample size of this international survey was 104 respondents from 21 countries.  All respondents were amongst the delegates who attended one of the world's most influential forums on combating cyber crime, the 7th annual e-Crime Congress London, on 24th and 25th March, 2009.  These included security professionals from government and public and private sector organisations, as well as senior managers charged with responsibility for risk, audit and compliance.


About Websense, Inc.

Websense, Inc. (NASDAQ: WBSN), a global leader in integrated Web, data and email security solutions, provides Essential Information Protection™ for more than 44 million employees at organizations worldwide. Distributed through its global network of channel partners, Websense software and hosted security solutions help organizations block malicious code, prevent the loss of confidential information and enforce Internet use and security policies. For more information, visit www.websense.com.

Websense and Websense Enterprise are registered trademarks of Websense, Inc. in the United States and certain international markets. Websense has numerous other unregistered trademarks in the United States and internationally. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


For further information please contact:

David Brophy                                         Websense                                 0434 567 775

Shuna Boyd                                          BassPR                                    02 9418 8100