Thales multi-national survey indicates focus on encryption to protect brand reputation
Thales, leader in information systems and communications security, releases the Australian Encryption Trends Study. This is the only annual report that focuses on the use of encryption in Australia, and is part of a seven year global study conducted by independent research firm the Ponemon Institute and commissioned by Thales.
Thales in Australia has a strong focus on cyber security, working closely with both the Department of Defence and other organisations to protect and secure information against a wide range of emerging threats.
Peter Bull, Vice President of Thales Australia’s National Security and C4I, said: “Cyber security is one of our core areas of expertise, and is becoming increasingly important as both government and industry respond to new threats from a variety of hostile sources. It is critical that organisations work closely together to counter these threats, especially when the number and type of assets defined as critical to our national security is expanding.”
The Australian Encryption Trends Study indicates:
The main driver for encryption is the protection of an organisation’s brand or reputation in the event of data breaches.
Australian respondents are much more likely to see brand or reputational issues as the main reason for deploying encryption (72 percent) which is much higher in comparison to other countries surveyed. Overall, eighty-two percent of respondents from Australian organisations view data protection activities as a very important (41 percent) or an important (41 percent) part of enterprise risk management.
In Australia, encryption usage is an indicator of a strong security posture.
The use of encryption by Australian organisations participating in this research has increased at a compound rate of 20 percent over the past four years, a factor that correlates very strongly with general awareness of data security threats and a clear understanding of how best to respond to those risks.
Australia is ahead of the other countries in the survey in terms of having an enterprise encryption strategy.
Since the research began tracking trends in encryption deployment among Australian organisations, respondents claim that more companies are adopting an overall encryption strategy than are not – a trend that is further advanced in Australia than other countries we surveyed. In Australia this trend is driven by IT staff, whereas elsewhere there is a clear shift towards business managers playing a much more active role.
Encryption spending has increased.
Since 2008, encryption spending relative to the total IT security budget increased from a low of 7 percent in 2008 to 9 percent in last year’s study. But again, Australian organizations should not be complacent since the number of respondents that report that encryption is deployed extensively within their organization, while growing, still lags the average of the seven countries that make up the survey.
The protection of sensitive or confidential data at rest is the top data protection priority for Australian companies.
Comparing adoption rates for nine different uses of encryption within the enterprise, the most common uses focused on protecting stored data, in particular within databases followed by encryption of corporate backup files and for stored data on laptops.
Richard Moulds, vice president strategy, Thales says: “Encryption is taking centre stage as a strategic IT security issue in order to mitigate the risk of data breaches and cyber-attacks and to protect an organisation’s brand, reputation and credibility. Australian organisations well understand these risks and how to respond through the encryption of sensitive or confidential information.”
“Whilst Australia still lags the rest of the world in terms of encryption deployment, the good news is that budgets for data protection and encryption are increasing with a focus on strategic planning rather than a piecemeal approach. However this strategy is viewed as much more of an IT issue than a business issue compared with other countries that make up our survey. Thales is proud to sponsor this important research programme and to help increase the awareness of important deployment choices and best practices within the Australian IT security community. We look forward to working closely with our customers to ensure they derive the maximum protection for their most valuable data while minimising the impact on their business.”
471 business and IT managers in Australian organisations were surveyed for this report. The Australian sample is part of a larger study involving 4,140 business and IT managers in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Australia, Japan and Brazil. The findings from this study appear in the 2011 Global Encryption Trends Study published in February 2012.
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