Data Sprawl Thwarts the Protection of Critical IP

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Understanding users’ behaviors and intent as they interact with critical business data, such as intellectual property, is a critical key to security—but all too often, cybersecurity investments aren’t up to the task, thanks to data spawl.

According to Forcepoint’s The Human Point: An Intersection of Behaviors, Intent & Data report, 80% of cybersecurity professionals believe it’s important to understand the behaviors of people as they interact with intellectual property (IP) and other critical business data—but only 32% are able to do so effectively. Further, 78% believe understanding user intent is important, yet only 28% of those surveyed say they have this capability.

The study shows that data sprawl and eroding network boundaries makes security more difficult; corporate networks are no longer tightly controlled entities. About 28% of respondents said critical business data and IP may be found in BYOD devices; 25% said removable media; and 21% said public cloud services.

About half (46%) are very or extremely concerned about the co-mingling of personal and business applications on devices such as smartphones. Only 7% have extremely good visibility into how employees use critical business data across company-owned and employee-owned devices; company approved services (e.g., Microsoft Exchange) and consumer services (e.g., Google Drive, Gmail).

“For years, the cybersecurity industry has focused primarily on securing technology infrastructures. The challenge with this approach, however, is that today’s infrastructures are ever-changing in composition, access and ownership,” said Matthew Moynahan, CEO at *** Forcepoint. *** “By understanding how, where and why people touch confidential data and IP, businesses will be able to focus their investments and more effectively prioritize cybersecurity initiatives.”

In all, only 4% of cybersecurity professionals are extremely satisfied with cybersecurity investments they’ve made; and only 13% strongly agree that more cybersecurity tools will improve security.

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