Almost half of client-side email marketers surveyed for the Adestra/Econsultancy Email Marketing Industry Census 2012 said that they do not have policies or processes in place to guard against breaches of data security.
As well as this, a quarter of agency-side email marketers weren't aware of which processes were in place, if any.
Over 800 respondents took part in the report via an online survey throughout January and February 2012.
Several high profile brands suffered data breaches via ESPs last year, where the access method was key-logging to source passwords.
This sort of hacking can be easily prevented using authenticated login and/or IP restrictions, yet only 25% of companies are currently are using this while 30% don’t know if they are or not.
Econsultancy research director Linus Gregoriadis said this is the first time since the inaugural email census five years ago that the study has included questions about data security.
The results are very worrying as many companies are not doing what they should be doing to avert risk. Companies should address their data security policies now in order to avoid a world of pain further down the line."
The survey also found that only 2% of both client-side and supply-side respondents (which are a mixture of ESPs and agencies) ranked data security as one of the three areas they need to focus on most in 2012.
However some companies are fully aware of the importance of data security.
64% of client-side and 63% of supply-side respondents stated that they or their clients either had data restrictions in place or were planning on implementing them.
Around one third of brands implement IP Restrictions, data seeding and the recording of all data downloads.
To find out more about the census results sign up for a free Adestra webinar, which takes place for an hour at 3pm on Wednesday March 28.