Data protection of growing significance to businesses, study finds

Research has discovered that many more businesses and organisations are now prioritising data protection and IT security when compared with the levels seen in 2008.

CompTIA published a study looking at global information security trends and concluded that 50 per cent of groups now see data protection as a real priority. This is an increase of 15 per cent compared to 2008 and a further 12 per cent jump is expected to be registered when the next survey is carried out in 2012.

CompTIA’s Tim Herbert, said that the prevalence of connected tech was making data protection and security far more important for a wide range of businesses and organisations, giving more employees wider access to sensitive details and consequently upping the chances of losses or breaches occurring.

Mr Herbert acknowledges that the growing investment in technology that facilitates remote and mobile working is introducing new threats to the integrity of a given firm’s data, just as malicious forces are increasing the complexity of their attacks.

Those questioned as part of the survey showed that the prevalence of social networking is a new front in the fight against cybercriminals.

Security expert Robert Rutherford said that many businesses would only prioritise data protection after having suffered a breach or leak, rather than acting pre-emptively to avoid scandals in the first place.

Mr Rutherford explained that the security industry is waiting for the next digital equivalent of a pandemic which will take down major corporations for extended periods, implying that, for the time being, many managers who do not fully appreciate the risks are being complacent.

Smartphones are seen as a real threat and perhaps the next platform for a serious cyber assault against businesses, with many believing that a widespread infection of a popular smartphone system will be the only way to publicise the risks to a presently indifferent corporate audience.

Improved technology, growing employee understanding and better overall security initiatives were all cited as ways in which organisations are shoring up their defences against common threats, according to respondents to the survey. This implies that some are more confident than others that future attacks and risks will be mitigated.

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