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NEWS: Marketers 'lack responsibility' when it comes to data

Marketers have the best skills to extract meaningful information from data, but the professionals are most likely to put it at risk, according to the 2014 Information Risk Maturity Index published by Iron Mountain and PwC.

Nearly two-thirds (62 per cent) of European and close to half (47 per cent) of North American mid-market companies believe their marketing teams have the best skills to extract value from information, and around half (46 and 57 per cent respectively) say the same for customer service. However, less than one per cent believe these teams should have responsibility for its protection.

The report revealed the majority of firms expect the IT security manager to grant free access to marketing and customer-facing teams to help them reach new customers and markets (60 per cent) and improve customer service (80 per cent). However, in over a third of companies (39 per cent), the responsibility for information security is placed firmly at the feet of the IT security manager.

The study found that 35 per cent of marketing professionals work from home two-to-four times a week, more than any other job role reviewed, and they are the most likely to look at business-sensitive work while commuting on public transport (35 per cent). Marketers are the employees most likely to send or receive work documents over a personal email account (48 per cent), at times via an insecure wireless network (12 per cent), and often discard documents in their waste bin when working away from the office (28 per cent).

Christian Toon, head of information risk at Iron Mountain, said: “The 2014 Information Risk Index reveals that companies everywhere are struggling to make the most of their information while keeping it secure. Making data accessible for analysis and intelligence is essential for business growth – but the employees who use that data must know how to protect it.

“Our study of European office workers found that just a third of employers provided secure remote intranet access for marketing professionals working remotely. It is imperative that organisations recognise the gap between data security in the office and at home and bridge this as a matter of urgency.”