Sophos, today announced the findings of its recent survey titled, ‘The State of Encryption Today’. The survey polled 1,700 IT decision makers from mid-sized businesses in the United States, Canada, India, Australia, Japan and Malaysia, about their encryption habits, concerns and plans.
Key findings of the survey reveal that private, highly-sensitive employee information, including banking details, human resource (HR) files and personal healthcare records, is at risk. While many companies take the security of their customer data seriously, employees are not protected to the same level.
For example, 31 percent of the companies surveyed that store this type of data admit that employee bank details are not always encrypted. Forty-three percent of the companies holding sensitive employee HR files don’t always encrypt them, and nearly half of those that store employee healthcare information (47 percent) fail to consistently encrypt these records.
Company data remains at risk as well. Nearly one-third (30 percent) of all organizations surveyed fail to always encrypt their own corporate financial information, and nearly half (41 percent) inconsistently encrypt files containing valuable intellectual property.
Cloud data security is also driving encryption adoption. More than eight in ten companies (84 percent) expressed concern about the safety of data stored in the cloud. Nevertheless, while 80 percent are using the cloud for storage,only 39 percent encrypt all files stored in the cloud.
“Data breaches happen to large and small companies every day, and the last line of defense against that breach turning into a corporate crisis is a comprehensive data encryption policy. While it is the customer data breaches that hit the headlines, companies have the same obligation to protect sensitive employee data, and they should not overlook it.” said Dan Schiappa, senior vice president and general manager of Enduser Security at Sophos.
Encryption demand is growing although companies cite budget, performance concerns and lack of deployment knowledge as the top three barriers to implementing a solution. Three-quarters of organizations acknowledge that they need to improve how they encrypt and secure employee, customer and company information. In fact, over the next two years, 69 percent of organizations surveyed plan to increase their use of encryption, showing that companies are moving in a positive direction.
“The State of Encryption Today survey confirms that while encryption is widely used and accepted by businesses, it also highlights critical gaps,” continued Schiappa. “Unfortunately, I am not surprised by the findings because too many people mistakenly believe that encryption is too complicated or too expensive to implement. The reality is that modern, next-generation encryption solutions can be easy to deploy and quite cost-effective.”