BlockMaster highlights £500,000 fine for data breach

April 20, 2010

BlockMaster (, a provider of secure USB flash drives, today announces that 42 per cent of employees believe a data breach would cost less than £10,000, 50 times less than what it could cost according to new Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) powers, which can fine firms up to £500,000 for losing data.

The survey, conducted amongst 130 Canary Wharf workers, by BlockMaster’s USBevolution Alert Team, also uncovered that 18 per cent of employees had lost a portable device within the last three years.

This figure will undoubtedly continue to grow, with over half of UK employees (59 per cent) admitting to a careless attitude to corporate devices with personal technology valued more.

Anders Pettersson, CSO, BlockMaster Security, says: “It isn’t too surprising that employees were unaware of the implementation of the ICO data fines.

However, it is shocking to learn that employees only consider there to be a cost involved in replacing a physical device, such as a laptop or USB drive.

Data itself is far more valuable than the cost of a physical device, and whilst employees can take personal steps to avoid losing devices, orgainisations should also consider using technology to eliminate the threat in the first place.”

Other notable findings from the research include 61 per cent of respondents value personal items such as mobile phones over portable work devices solely because of the financial cost if lost.

Mike Bienvenu, Technical Director, Softek comments: “These responses demonstrate that there is a general opinion amongst the business workforce, that although losing business property can be an issue short term for them – for example they have to wait for a new phone to be delivered, long term they just aren’t considering what the value of the content is on the device and what the outside world could do with it.”

Pettersson continues: “We need to get the message across to organisations and employees that data is more than just a file stored on a device, it has a monetary value and could seriously harm an organisation if it got into the wrong hands.

“The ICO fines will bring this front of mind; however it won’t educate users on best practice and the ways to ensure data is safe.

“Only once organisations are aware of the total cost of losing data or have suffered a breach will they be willing to seek advice on how to protect themselves.

“This is an attitude we are trying to change with the USBevolution.”

For more information on the ICO data fines and how to educate employees on security best practice, please visit / or book a meeting at InfoSecurity Europe at

Attendees of InfoSecurity Europe 2010 will also get the chance to upgrade their unsecure USB drive for a brand new SafeStick. Just look out for the USB drop off bin located on stand J80.


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