Blundering employees are biggest threat to corporate data

Human error blamed for 26 percent of all data losses

A poll of IT managers carried out by a California research company has shown that malicious hackers and viruses are in fact far less of a threat to corporate IT departments than employees who accidentally delete their own files.

The American Business Research Corporation (ABRC) describes these accidental deletions as an "epidemic source of corporate data loss" and has discovered the total cost of such blunders to companies per annum is around $15bn (£9.01bn).

According to ABRC human error accounts for around 26 percent of all data losses whereas viruses are only responsible for about three percent of all information destruction.

ABRC randomly selected 300 Windows NT administrators for the poll and discovered that virtually all had also experienced significant data loss due to failures in the process of backing up information. According to the report, 56 percent of all information lost occurs between backups and 14 percent takes place due to incomplete backup.