Tuesday, November 10, 2009

U.S. companies exposed to threat of data breach

Kroll Ontrack survey reveals corporations experience an
average of two data breaches every year

Minneapolis – November 10, 2009 – Kroll Ontrack®, the industry's largest provider of paper and electronic discovery, computer forensics, ESI consulting, and courtroom and presentation services, found that only 33 percent of U.S. organizations feel able to respond very effectively to a data breach. This is despite the fact that companies, on average, claim to experience two data breaches every year.

This is one of the key findings from the Third Annual Electronically Stored Information (ESI) Trends Report(1), an independent study commissioned by Kroll Ontrack. Monitoring U.S. and U.K. ESI policy enactment, strategy ownership and implementation success, the survey revealed important findings regarding the challenges of storing corporate data while managing the risk of protecting that data.

While six in ten U.S. companies conducted a vulnerability assessment in the past 12 months, only one-third of respondents are confident in their incident response. Furthermore, IT professionals are more aware of breaches than their legal counterparts and are the predominant department handling incidents, as reported by 46 percent of survey respondents.

"In the last couple of years, we have seen a proliferation of data breaches in both the public and the private sectors," said R. Jason Straight, senior managing director of Kroll Ontrack's computer forensics, ESI consulting and secure information services practice. "Consequently, it is concerning that so few U.S. organizations see themselves in a position to enact a strong response to a data breach incident."

"Since no company can expect to completely eliminate the threat of data breaches through preventative measures, an organization's ability to detect and react swiftly and competently to an incident is paramount," added Straight. "The cost implications, in terms of replacing lost data and compensating those affected are evident, but businesses may also face legal consequences following a breach due to the rising number of data breach notification laws. Moreover, the reputational damage and loss of customer trust associated with a major breach incident may be the most severe consequences of all. It is in a corporation's best interest to proactively assess, understand and address data security vulnerabilities in conjunction with other data management policies."

Notes to Editors
(1) "Third Annual ESI Trends Report," October 2009, Research Plus survey on behalf of Kroll Ontrack.

The Legal Technologies & Consulting division of Kroll Ontrack provides corporations, law firms and government agencies with technology and consulting services for large scale paper and electronic discovery, computer forensics, and litigation readiness and response projects. Through the acquisition of TrialGraphix (September 2007), the leader in jury consulting and presentations, Kroll Ontrack now offers a wide range of trial services such as jury research; witness preparation; trial consulting; graphics; and presentation technology for mediations, arbitrations, and trial. Helping clients quickly and cost-effectively find, review, manage, produce and present relevant evidence, Kroll Ontrack is recognized as the leading electronic discovery provider by the Am Law Tech Survey (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 & 2009).

About Kroll Ontrack Inc.

Kroll Ontrack provides technology-driven services and software to help legal, corporate and government entities as well as consumers recover, search, analyze, produce and present data efficiently and cost-effectively. In addition to its award-winning suite of software, Kroll Ontrack provides data recovery, advanced search, paper and electronic discovery, computer forensics, ESI consulting, jury consulting, and presentation services. Kroll Ontrack is a technology services division of Kroll Inc., the global risk consulting company. For more information about Kroll Ontrack and its offerings please visit www.krollontrack.com; www.ontrackdatarecovery.com; www.ontrackengenium.com.