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The data security risks to UK businesses surveyed

A Ponemon Institute survey, conducted on behalf of Informatica, has revealed that only a quarter of UK businesses believe their organization could detect a data breach at any time, and just 33 percent say their organization is very good to excellent at detecting and containing breaches. Meanwhile, nearly half (49 percent) of respondents admit to having experienced a breach in the past 12 months and believe it could have been avoided if certain processes and intelligent technologies had been in place.

The study exploring how UK organizations are approaching data security revealed that:

  • Data security concerns are escalating: as sensitive and confidential data proliferates everywhere, securing and protecting data is a high priority for 56 percent of respondents. In total, 59 percent say that they worry about mistakes from a temporary worker or contractor, up from 53 percent in 2014. Additionally, 52 percent fear third party or outsourcers’ management of data (including cloud)
  • Customer data is at most risk: an overwhelming majority (61 percent) listed customer data as the information most at risk, followed by business intelligence (32 percent) and the data contained within emails or attachments (29 percent)
  • Work to be done to improve security: the top data security solutions in place today include data classification, monitoring and discovery tools, with respondents believing that compliance and security could be improved through intelligent solutions, such as automated user access history with real-time monitoring (74 percent), policy workflow automation (74 percent) and automated data discovery/risk assessment (69 percent)

“As the gap between believing in data security intelligence solutions and actually possessing them diminishes, so inevitably will the risk of data breaches,” said Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder, Ponemon Institute. “Given the growing business and societal costs of breaches, and the runaway proliferation of sensitive data, organizations need to seriously consider adopting a data-centric security stance without delay. To do otherwise may soon be construed as negligence.”

According to the study, automated solutions for discovering where sensitive data has proliferated and assessing the risk are believed to increase data security effectiveness. The study reveals that 66 percent of respondents believe such a solution would improve an organization’s security posture.

The survey of 118 UK IT and IT security professionals with responsibility for data protection was completed by the Ponemon Institute as part of the annual 2015 State of Data Security Intelligence study sponsored by Informatica.

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