Enterprisebusiness software vendor Micro Focus has issued a warning after commissioned researchfound huge numbers of businesses are still taking next to no precautions tosecure confidential data during the application testing process.
The Ponemon Institute surveyed over 1,350 practitioners inthe UKand US at companies making between $10m and $20bn on behalf of Micro Focus, andfound that 79% of them had experienced one data breach in the past 12 months,but that 70% of them had no data masking techniques in place.
Most worryingly, according to Micro Focus, a majority alsoadmitted they used customer records, employee records, credit cards and otherconfidential information during application development and testing.
A full 90% said that customer data was used on a monthlybasis in test environments.
The vast amounts of data being used in the applicationtesting process by some corporations only increased the risk of a breach,whether due to human error or external attack.
“Given the high profile of data breaches across the worldand the frequency with which testing take place it seems unbelievable thatorganisations have not taken the necessary steps to ensure their data is secureduring this regular process,” said Micro Focus CTO Stuart McGill.
Dr Larry Ponemon, who conducted the research, said thatalthough it was understandable that organisations would want to be efficientduring a time consuming process, “cutting corners by not masking data couldcause irreparable damage to a company’s database and reputation”.