Friday, 4 May 2012

Businesses leaving door open to privacy breaches, survey finds

Businesses leaving door open to privacy breaches, survey finds

May 4, 2012 – 11:17 AM ET
Some Canadian businesses using technology to store personal data are lagging in the use of security measures to protect it.
A survey by the Privacy Commissioner of Canada released Friday found that many companies aren’t using passwords effectively to protect data.

While almost all businesses surveyed use passwords, 39% do not have mechanisms to ensure passwords are difficult to guess and 27% never require employees to change passwords, the survey found.
“Using passwords is like locking your front door. They can be a very simple and effective way to protect valuable personal information,” Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart said in a statement. “But simply setting a password is not enough to thwart today’s savvy online criminals — passwords must to be complex and dynamic.”
More than half of the companies surveyed stored personal information on computers, close to half use servers and roughly a quarter use portable devices

Roughly half of the businesses that reported using portable devices, such as laptops, USB sticks and tablets, said they did not encrypt them, the survey said. Portable devices are more likely to fall into the wrong hands by being lost or stolen.
Only 40% of the companies surveyed indicated that they were concerned with possible privacy breaches of customer data.
The poll surveyed 1,006 businesses and was commissioned by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.

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