Education sector data loss rises

Almost half of respondents to a survey at Bett 2014 admit to losing portable storage devices containing confidential data

Research conducted by iStorage at the recent Bett 2014 education technology conference has revealed that 45% of respondents have lost a portable storage device that contained personal or work related data – a 7% rise from last year’s survey at the same event. The survey was conducted across approximately 290 education professionals at the conference by the leading specialist in portable data storage and digital encryption.

The survey also revealed that 97% of all respondents carry data on USB sticks, portable hard drives, CDs or DVDs, but that 73% do not encrypt the data on these devices. Although a high percentage of education professionals are not encrypting data on portable data storage devices, 97% consider data loss to be a growing concern and 94% agree that an encrypted data storage device is preferable to an unprotected drive for daily use.

Under the Data Protection Act, education professionals are obliged to use encryption to protect all portable devices such as USBs and external hard drives. It is recommended that USB drives should be password protected and fully encrypted to prevent reputational damage and a monetary penalty for losing data.

“Results from the survey show that data protection is a growing concern for education professionals. However, not everybody is implementing a high-level of security when it comes to portable data storage devices,” says John Michael, CEO of iStorage. “Theft, loss or unauthorised access to portable data storage devices containing sensitive data may cause harm to pupils, parents or staff and can seriously affect continuity.”


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