Digital transformation era “putting organisations’ sensitive data at risk” asserts Thales

Critical information systems, cyber security and data security specialist Thales believes that the rush towards digital transformation is putting sensitive data at risk for organisations worldwide. According to the 2019 Thales Data Threat Report (Global Edition), as organisations embrace new technologies such as multi-cloud deployments they are subsequently struggling to implement proper data security.

No less than 97% of the survey respondents reported that their organisation was already underway with some level of digital transformation and, with that, confirmed they’re using and exposing sensitive data within these environments. Aggressive digital transformers are most at risk for data breaches but, alarmingly, the study finds that less than a third of respondents (only 30%, in fact) are using encryption within these environments.

The study also found a few key areas where encryption adoption and usage are above average: Internet of Things (42%), containers (47%) and Big Data (45%).

Reality of multi-cloud risk

As companies move to the cloud or multi-cloud environments as part of their digital transformation journey, protecting their sensitive data is becoming increasingly complex. Nine out of ten respondents are using (or will be using) some type of cloud environment, while 44% rated complexity of that environment as a perceived barrier to implementing proper data security measures.

In fact, this complexity is ahead of staff needs, budget restraints and securing organisational buy-in.

Globally, 60% of organisations say they’ve been breached at some point in their history, with 30% experiencing a breach within the past year alone. In a year where breaches regularly appear in headlines, the US had the highest number of breaches in the last three years (65%) as well as in the last year (36%).

The bottom line is that, whatever technologies an organisation deploys to make digital transformation happen, the easy and timely access to data puts this data at risk internally and externally. The majority of organisations (86%) feel vulnerable to data threats. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always translate into security Best Practice as evidenced by the less than 30% of respondents using encryption as part of their digital transformation strategy.

No organisation is immune 

Frank Dickson, research vice-president for security products research at IDC, stated: “Our research shows that no organisation is immune from data security threats and, in fact, we found that the most sophisticated organisations are more likely to indicate that they’ve experienced a data security breach. This trend is consistent no matter how we define the sophistication of the audience: those who are spending more on IT security, those for whom data security is a larger portion of their security budget or those who are further along in their digital transformation journey.”

Tina Stewart, vice-president of market strategy at Thales eSecurity, responded: “Data security is vitally important. Organisations need to take a fresh look at how they implement a data security and encryption strategy in support of their transition to the cloud and meeting regulatory and compliance mandates. As our report shows, we have now reached a point where almost every organisation has been breached.”

*For more key findings and security Best Practice tips download a copy of the 2019 Thales Data Threat Report (Global Edition)

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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