Research shows that views on what constitutes ‘data protection’ varies between organizations and sectors

Published: Thursday, 02 April 2020 08:43

New research from Infrascale, based on a survey of more than 500 C-level executives in small and medium sized businesses, has highlighted that data protection means different things to different people and data protection priorities depend upon an individual’s unique experiences and position.

When asked what data protection means to them, 61 percent of the survey group named data security and encryption. The same share said data backup. Nearly as many (59 percent) defined data protection as data recovery, while 54 percent cited anti-malware services.

46 percent said data protection addresses email protection. Data archiving and the ability to become operational quickly after a disaster each captured 45 percent of the survey group’s vote.

Meanwhile, 44 percent of the group said data protection means ransomware protection/mitigation. The same share named physical device protection for endpoints such as laptops and mobile phones. And nearly a third (32 percent) said that for them data protection involves processes that prevent user error.

Opinions about data protection vary by industry

The Infrascale research suggests there is significant variation in what top executives from different sectors consider the most important aspects of data protection.

In the legal space, 89 percent of executives said data protection provides data security and encryption. 71 percent of the top leaders in the healthcare sector agreed. Data security and encryption was the top answer among retail/ecommerce and telecommunications leaders as well, although with lower shares – 67 percent and 52 percent, respectively.

Top executives in education see data backup and data recovery as the most important aspects of data protection. 61 percent of this group said they hold this belief. For 57 percent of the top leaders in accounting, banking or finance, data backup is the key concern in data protection.

The overall survey group said cyber attacks are the biggest data protection issue their companies are facing. Nearly half (49 percent) of the group voiced their concern about hacking. Micro disasters such as corrupted hard drives and malware infections were the second most commonly indicated concern, garnering a 46 percent share from the group. System crashes (41 percent), data leaks (39 percent), ransomware attacks (38 percent), and human errors (38 percent) were next on the list.

There was some variation in sector response here as well. Top leaders in education (64 percent), telecommunications (63 percent) and healthcare (54 percent) said that micro disasters are their biggest data protection issues. But more than half of the survey respondents in both the retail (54 percent) and financial (53 percent) sectors said cyber attacks such as ransomware are their leading data protection challenges.

In addition, the survey found that 20 percent of respondents said that their organization does not currently have a data backup or disaster recovery solution in place.