A hundred million more people could be affected by data loss in 2009.

 

According to KPMG's data loss barometer, the number of people affected by data loss around the world could rise to 190 million in 2009, compared to 92 million in the previous year, as the credit crunch deepens.

 

It claimed that in the three months to November 2008, the number of people affected by data loss incidents (47.8 million) was more than for the first eight months of the year combined – and 38 per cent higher than the same period in 2007 (34.5 million).

 

The data loss barometer research concludes that the total number of reported incidents for 2008 will be 427, compared to 2007 (412) – the highest annual figure recorded by KPMG since the firm began collecting the data in 2005.

 

Malcolm Marshall, KPMG partner, said: “We anticipate an increase in the number of malicious data theft attempts and believe the financial sector is most prepared to handle this threat. Other sectors such as telecommunications and utilities could be seen by criminal gangs as soft targets for sophisticated attacks.

 

“The organisations that will be most severely affected are those who share most data with external providers and other third parties. Data loss is now a global problem that is set to get worse. Even the most secure and comprehensive controls do not provide absolute protection against all conceivable threats.

 

“A few simple questions such as ‘do you know where your data comes from?', ‘where it is stored and how it is used?' and ‘do you have a clear plan of what to do should you lose your data?' are good starting points for all businesses – large and small.”