Data loss is rampant among businesses worldwide, with the most common cause of losses being lost or stolen equipment, according to a survey.

The most common type of data stolen is customer information, according to the study by Ponemon Institute and sponsored by Check Point.

BACKGROUND: DLP primer

According to "Understanding Security Complexity in 21st Century IT Environments," 77% of the 2,426 IT professionals questioned in five countries admitted their organizations suffered a data loss in the past year.

Of those, 52% say they lost customer data and 44% say they lost consumer information, which the study says is information about targeted customers. Other intellectual property and employee information were cited as stolen by 33% and 31% respectively, the study says.

Of the IT professionals surveyed in the U.S., U.K., France, Japan and Germany, 23% say they suffered no data losses in the past year.

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