Just under half of city employees believe a data breach would result in a fine of less than £10,000.
Research conducted by BlockMaster of professionals in Canary Wharf on the date that the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) introduced £500,000 fines found that 42 per cent were unaware of the total cost of a breach.
It also found that 18 per cent of employees had lost a portable device within the last three years, while 61 per cent value personal items such as mobile phones over portable work devices solely because of the financial cost if lost.
Anders Pettersson, CSO at BlockMaster, said: “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.
“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.”
Mike Bienvenu, technical director at Softek, said: “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.”