Despite regular reports in the media of the loss of huge amounts of confidential data, there still is a lack of understanding regarding data security policies and the safe-guarding of confidential information in the education sector. This was revealed in a new UK survey carried out by Kingston Technology Company, Inc., the independent world leader in memory products, at the educational technology event, BETT. In this survey, 100 people working in the education sector were asked about the IT policies and practices that the organisation they work for currently has in place.
The research shows that 52% of respondents were not aware of any procedures that their employers had in place regarding the removal of data from workstations, highlighting the vulnerability of the data that is transferred within the organisation. Worryingly, a staggering 46% even admitted to never encrypting the data that is downloaded on to a USB key at work and only 25% said that they encrypted the data occasionally. Furthermore, just under a quarter (22%) were not sure if there were any policies in place regarding the removal of data and only a mere 11% knew that there were strict guidelines in place preventing the removal of confidential data.
“From the results, it seems there are still local authorities that have not implemented security policies to ensure encrypted USB drives are used to carry confidential information out of the schools” said Steve Hall, EMEA Branded Product Marketing Manager, of Kingston Technology “It is crucial that organisations put policies and processes in place to ensure that employees only use secure encrypted USB drives.”
Using unencrypted USB drives for confidential documents can not only be costly in terms of the organisation’s reputation but also in terms of the job losses that go hand-in-hand with data loss scandals. This can be avoided by implementing policies which insist on the use of secure USB drives that feature 256-AES hardware-based encryption.
When asked about the reasons for not implementing secure drives, one third (37%) of respondents stated that the price of encrypted USB drives was a prohibitive to educational organisations incorporating them into their data security strategies. “The solution costs as little as £60 for 2GB, or the price of ten books so when considering the cost against the value of the potential data loss it is a small price to pay” said Hall
However, encouragingly half (52%) of respondents stated that the PCs and servers within their organisations are regularly upgraded to ensure that their systems meet the technological demands of newly released software packages. However, a quarter (27%) of respondents suggested that their organisations had considered upgrading their computer networks but had not yet done so. By upgrading their PCs and servers, organisations could make significant savings by delaying the purchase of new systems by up to 3 years. The cost of a memory upgrade is on average 90% less than the cost of a new system. In these tough times, this is a substantial saving and worth putting into action sooner rather than later.
“The statistics regarding the upgrading of PC and server memory in the education sector is far more promising than the data security statistics. These figures serve to show that similar to other industries there is great room for improvement when it comes to data security,” concluded Hall.
This survey was conducted by Kingston Technology; the survey results are based on 100 responses from attendees of the BETT Show 2009, London.
About Kingston Technology Company, Inc.
Kingston Technology Company, Inc. (kingston.com) is the world’s largest independent manufacturer of memory products. Kingston designs, manufactures and distributes memory products for desktops, laptops, servers, printers, and Flash memory products for PDAs, mobile phones, digital cameras, and MP3 players. Through its global network of subsidiaries and affiliates, Kingston has manufacturing facilities in California, Malaysia, Taiwan, China and sales representatives in the United States, Europe, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Australia, New Zealand, India, Taiwan, China, and Latin America. For more information, please call +44 (0)1932 738888.
Kingston and the Kingston logo are registered trademarks of Kingston Technology Corporation. All rights reserved. All other marks may be the property of their respective titleholders.
For further information and review opportunities, please contact:
Emilie Beneitez Lefebvre, EMEA PR Manager, Kingston Technology
T: 01932 738813 / F: 01932 738811 - E: ebeneitez[.]kingston-technology.com.
Annie Kasmai, Lead Consultant, Catalysis PR
T: +44(0)20 7107 2476 - E: annie.kasmai[.]catalysis.co.uk.