A large number of UK firms are failing to insure their valuable data, putting them at risk of major losses if attacked.
New research from Accenture found that only half of businesses in the UK are insured against data loss, despite options being available at low cost and offering high levels of security.
This was despite a quarter of business leaders saying they were aware of a malicious attempt to steal or destroy their data in the last 12 months - which rises to 34 per cent for large firms. More than one in ten say they experienced an internal threat to their data, such as accidental damage.
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Accenture claims that insuring against data loss can be done at ‘a fraction of the cost’ that’s usually associated with gathering and analysing data.
The report says that average medium-sized businesses spend £980,000 a year on data harvesting and analytics - depsite the value of the data being insured being only £65,000.
As to why data isn't being insured, the report argues that the half of businesses without protection consider data as a cost, and not an asset. 30 per cent of data gathered is also considered inaccurate, and almost three quarters (70 per cent) of people that use data don’t have access to everything they need, either.
“The disparities we’re seeing in the insured value of data versus costs associated with it, as well as those choosing not to insure, show how companies are clinging to traditional practices," said George Marcotte, Managing Director, Accenture Digital.
"These businesses still revolve around the five classic asset classes: monetary, physical, relational, organisational and human, which I imagine they will have insurance to protect. And yet they don’t put data into that category. It’s only the new platform companies that see data as a sixth asset class. Not only will they take steps to insure it, but they also take bigger steps to invest in it. As data becomes more vital to business success, not taking all steps to protect it is like forgetting to insure the crown jewels.”
“It’s only once businesses change their culture to be more data oriented that they will start to do things like insure it. Insurance is clearly not the end goal, but it’s an indicator of companies seeing data as a valuable asset instead of simply a cost to be covered.”
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Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.