But more than half of insurance firms surveyed still admitted to losing data

Around 17% of businesses in the insurance sector have been hacked according to a survey of IT managers.

According to the Crown Records Management/Censuswide Survey of IT decision makers the insurance industry performed better when compared to other sectors.

However, more than half (55%) of the insurance firms surveyed still admitted to losing data.

In other sectors the percentage was higher. In facilities management, 75% admitted to losing data, in retail the figure was 75%, while in the legal sector, it was 69%.

The study also found that 8% of senior insurance IT professionals personally lost sensitive data, while 6% said they had accidentally left sensitive documents somewhere.

In Facilities Management, 25% of senior managers admitted to losing data, while 22% said they had left sensitive documents somewhere.

Crown Records Management business development manager Ann Sellar said: “These survey results show the insurance sector is ahead of its rivals and that is good news.

“But nevertheless the overall figures should still be a wake-up call because the importance of protecting customer data is higher than ever.

“Not only because of potential fines for data breaches, which will soon increase when the EU General Data Protection Regulation is ratified, but also because of growing public awareness.”

Recent high-profile breaches include the Carphone Warehouse where hackers may have accessed 2.4m customers’ data, the theft and publishing of infidelity dating website Ashley Madison by hackers, and a data breach on WHSmith.

Sellar added: “It takes on average 20 years to build a reputation but just five minutes to ruin it with a data breach and then up to two years to rebuild it.

“So businesses need to look at the way they protect their information, understand where the threats are and start putting robust processes in place to protect their customers. If they don’t I can only see the number of data breaches increasing in the next few years.”

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