Over a Third of Global Firms Breached in 2017

Over a third (36%) of global organizations were breached last year, a 10% increase from 2016, according to new figures from Thales.

The security and defense contractor polled 1200 senior IT executives in Germany, Japan, India, the Netherlands, Sweden, South Korea, the UK and the US to compile its 2018 Thales Data Threat Report.

It claimed that a staggering 67% of firms have now been breached, with more than two-fifths (44%) of IT leaders claiming to feel “very” or “extremely” vulnerable to data threats.

The report detailed a growing reliance on the cloud, with 42% of organizations using more than 50 SaaS applications, 57% using three or more IaaS vendors, and 53% using three or more PaaS environments.

In total, 94% store or use sensitive data in cloud, big data, IoT, container, blockchain and/or mobile environments — a trend seemingly exposing them to greater risk.

Encryption was cited as the top tool (44%) for protecting cloud data, while 77% of respondents claimed data-at-rest security solutions are the most effective at preventing breaches, just above network security (75%) and data-in-motion (75%) tools.

Encryption was also cited as the best tool (42%) to help meet new privacy requirements like the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) — understandable as it’s one of only two security technologies mentioned prescriptively in the new law.

Thales eSecurity CTO, Jon Geater, admitted that management of encryption keys can be challenging for organizations without strong security specialists, warning that “whoever controls the keys controls access to the data.”

“Everyone’s moving to the cloud today, and this challenge is compounded further in cloud environments or, as is the case for most organizations today, multi-cloud environments. To ease these operational challenges, organizations should should start with data and operations. How you work and how you value your data is most important: the tool should fit you, not the other way round,” he told Infosecurity.

“Select encryption and key management technologies that offer a smart, centralized approach. Once data is lost it’s lost, so no good building a fortress around your datacenter if your laptops are leaky. Next, ensure the tools fit your environment and work across clouds, on-premises and in datacenters. Finally, implement strong identity technologies: hardware-backed PKI for machines, multi-factor authentication for humans.”

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