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Security perception and reality wide apart, research shows

Report by Gemalto shows increasing investment in data protection despite an exponential growth in the number of data breaches.

Security perception and reality wide apart, research shows
Pavie says relying on perimeter security systems alone is no longer enough.

There's a widening gap emerging between the perception and the reality of perimeter security effectiveness amongst global IT decision makers, new research by Gemalto shows.

The report, the 2015 Data Security Confidence Index (DSCI), shows increasing levels of investment in data protection, despite an exponential growth in the number of data breaches.

The number of global data breaches continues to increase - according to Gemalto's Breach Level Index (BLI), with more than 1,500 data breaches that led to one billion data records compromised in 2014 alone, a 49% increase in data breaches and a 78% increase in data records stolen or lost compared to 2013. Despite this, the DSCI research shows that globally, almost nine out of ten (87%)

IT decision makers feel their organization's perimeter security systems are effective at keeping out unauthorized users. The study shows that IT decision makers are looking to further increase their investment in perimeter security with 64% looking to do so in the next 12 months.

In the Middle East, IT decision-makers are planning to spend on an average 6.74% of their security budget on perimeter security technology and 13% on firewall technology. Interestingly, when thinking of the most recent breaches, the average amount of breached data protected by encryption was below 3%, highlighting the need for a more robust data protection strategy.

Low confidence in ability to prevent breaches and unauthorized user access in the Middle East

Nevertheless, 26% believe unauthorized users are still able to access their networks and a further 20% are not confident in the security of their organization's data, should a breach occur. In fact, the DSCI survey reveals that as a result of recent high profile breaches, 52% of organizations have adjusted their security strategy, but are still focused on perimeter security. 91% of IT decision makers stated that their investment in perimeter security has increased over the past five years, though 6% admitted that in the past 12 months their company has been victim to a breach, showing the need to approach security differently. Although high-profile data breaches have driven more than half of the organizations in the Gulf region (52%) to adjust their security strategy, 28% of the respondents are no more confident than they were this time last year in the security industry's ability to detect and defend against emerging security threats and a striking 66% are less confident than 12 months ago

 "With the number of sophisticated breaches on the rise, relying on perimeter security systems alone is no longer enough. Traditional security staples such as firewalls and anti-virus should be part of a much greater security strategy. IT decision makers need to take into account that if someone is motivated enough they will breach a network, no matter how well it is protected," said Sebastien Pavie, regional sales director, MEA, Gemalto.

Commercial impacts of data breaches

As a result of these attacks, all of the organizations (100%) suffered negative commercial consequences, including delays in product/service development (29%), decreased employee productivity (43%), decreased customer confidence (43%), and loss of costumers (57%). This highlights the severe consequences of data breaches, which can be damaging both to an organization's reputation and bottom line, as well as to customers' confidence in all industry sectors.

"Organizations still place too much emphasis on perimeter security, even though it has proven to be ineffective," added Pavie. "Decision makers should place greater importance on customer data, and look to adopt a ‘secure the breach' approach that focuses on securing the data after intruders penetrate the perimeter defenses. This means they need to attach security directly to the data itself using multi-factor authentication and data encryption, as well as securely managing encryption keys. That way, if the data is stolen, it is useless."

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