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Data privacy watchdog for India.

McAfee : 14 June, 2007  (Technical Article)
Recent data breaches on the Indian sub-continent have drawn significant international pressure resulting in the setting up of the first watchdog for data privacy in India.
On Friday, it was announced that India would finally be getting a data privacy watchdog to oversee all of its IT activity and also to address international concerns about the security of its customer data.

This has come as a result of the increasing amount of international pressure following a number of high-profile security breaches in India. McAfee recently conducted the DataGate research, a survey of 250 IT professionals from organisations in the United Kingdom, United States, France, Germany and Australia. The report showed that a breach of security is the biggest worry for businesses and that there is a widespread perception that a major security breach could lead to a collapse of an organisation. The research highlights the severity of security breaches and the importance of implementing a system that can address the problem, through the following findings:.

* Sixty percent of respondents said they had experienced a data breach in the past year.
* A data breach that exposed personal information would cost companies an average of £134,000 to inform their customers—even if the lost data is never used.
* Sixty-one percent of respondents think that data leakage is the doing of insiders, and 23 percent believe those leaks are malicious.
* Forty-six percent of respondents don't debrief or monitor employees after they have given notice that they are leaving the company.
* Twenty-three percent of respondents were able to estimate the total annual cost of data leakage, and the average figure they gave was £640,000.
* Respondents rated loss of intellectual property and financial information as the two most valuable classes of data—with the average estimated cost of leaked financial data reaching £840,000.

By forming the new body, Data Security Council of India (DSCI), India will be able to regulate what is becoming a growing problem.

Greg Day, McAfee's security analyst, comments: 'With the ever increasing methods for storing and transferring data, we are seeing increasing instances of data being mislaid, lost or stolen. Data management, specifically in relation to privacy, has become an international concern. It is therefore imperative that a country has in place a system of its own that can ensure the security of customer records and data. India in the past has had a bad reputation for data protection and this move signifies a growing realisation of the importance of protecting data globally.'
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