Most data breaches are caused by mundane events such as employees losing, having stolen or simply unknowingly misusing corporate assets, a Forrester Research report has found.

After questioning more than 7,000 IT executives and ordinary employees across North America and Europe, 31 percent cited simple loss or theft as the explanation for data breaches at their companies, ahead of inadvertent misuse by an employee at 27 percent, according to an article from PC World.

External attack was mentioned in 25 percent of cases with abuse by malicious insiders at 12 percent, the article says. The same selection of causes was cited at much lower levels for business partners.

When asked about mobile security, 39 percent worry about a lack of data leak prevention on mobile devices, with half concerned about the consequences of old-fashioned theft. 30 percent thought there wasn’t sufficient separation between consumer and corporate data on mobile devices, the PC World article says.

The most common form of mobile device security is password entry plus remote lock and wipe, with almost a quarter of respondents admitting they haven’t started using any form of data protection at all.

Only 56 percent of information workers in North American and Europe say that they’re aware of their organization’s current security policies, the article says.

When data is breached, personal (customer and employee) data accounted for 22 percent of cases reported, with IP close behind at 19 percent and user credentials – such as log-in information – at 11 percent.