Unencrypted data top cause of cyber-attacks on ME organisations; report
2016 Global Encryption Trends Study: Middle East report reveals regional organisations are still open to mega breaches
Thales e-Security has unveiled that despite the increased threat of cyber-attacks and data theft, organisations in the Middle East are still leaving their data unencrypted.
The report, "2016 Global Encryption Trends Study: Middle East", based on independent research by the Ponemon Institute and sponsored by Thales, uncovered that 45% of respondents either do not have an encryption plan or strategy, or have a limited encryption strategy for certain types of sensitive data, such as social security numbers or personal financial data.
Furthermore, 75% of respondents do embrace some type of encryption strategy, which means the use of encryption continues to grow in response to privacy compliance regulations, consumer concerns and cyber-attacks.
Philip Schreiber, regional sales director for Thales e-Security MEASA, said: "The proliferation of data that is occurring with increased connectivity, larger numbers of endpoint devices and greater use of the cloud, means we would expect most organisations to have an encryption strategy applied consistently across the entire enterprise, yet results show that just over half do.
"In terms of protecting data, encryption is widely accepted as best practice, yet many firms are still clearly vulnerable and in a position of weakness. Well-implemented encryption and reliable key management, as provided by Thales hardware security modules (HSMs), are fundamental to the securing of critical applications and it is becoming ever more vital in the protection of sensitive and crucial information," he added.
The report also found that 54% of respondents said discovering where sensitive data resides in the organisation is the biggest challenge to a successful encryption strategy. Support for cloud and on-premise deployment, and system performance and latency are considered the two most important features of encryption, and to which the majority or organisations plan to transfer sensitive data to the cloud within the next two years.
Dr Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute, added: "The findings of this year's study demonstrate the importance of both encryption and key management across a wide range of core enterprise applications - from networking, databases and application level encryption to PKI, payments, public and private cloud computing and more. We would certainly expect encryption coverage to increase as Middle Eastern organisations understand how important the process has become."