Many London City workers are unaware of the potentially high cost of data breaches to their organisations, a survey has revealed.
Some 42% of Canary Wharf workers believe a data breach would cost less than £10,000, according to a survey of 130 respondents by secure USB supplier BlockMaster Security.
The actual costs could be at least 50 times greater with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) now empowered to fine organisations up to £500,000 for data breaches.
This cost excludes the cost of potential downtime, recovery from the data breach and loss of reputation.
Some 18% of respondents admitted to losing a portable storage device in the past three years.
"It is shocking to learn that employees consider only the cost of replacing the missing device," said Anders Pettersson, chief security officer at BlockMaster.
Data itself is far more valuable than the cost of a physical device, he said.
Sixty-one per cent of respondents said they value personal items such as mobile phones over portable work devices because of the financial cost if lost.
"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," said Pettersson.
The recently introduced higher ICO fines will bring this front of mind, but 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, he said.