UK fares well in data protection study

A study conducted by Ernst & Young has looked at the state of preparedness amongst businesses from around the world when it comes to dealing with the next generation of threats to IT security and data protection, with UK firms coming off better than their international counterparts.

As part of the Global Information Security Survey, it was discovered that, on average, just a tenth of businesses are prepared to invest in studying the way in which up and coming advancements in technology are altering the security landscape.

Cloud computing and social networking are considered as the two largest areas of growth which could potentially cause problems for firms who have not considered the potential risk to security which they pose.

While the businesses may have shown a lack of willing when it comes to analysing new technology, close to two thirds of respondents said that they appreciated the potential hazards posed by outsourcing data storage to third party firms and integrating new platforms without thorough investigation.

Ernst & Young’s Seamus Reilly, said that cloud computing and social networking have made collaboration and communication between employees and clients much easier. He went on to point out that while many businesses recognise the risks involved in adopting new technology, only a small proportion are actually willing to invest in tools which can mitigate threats.

Where the UK businesses trumped the international averages was in data protection investment levels, which are set to rise in 67 per cent of UK firms next year, compared to just 46 per cent on a global basis.

Eighty-five per cent of UK firms have taken action to encrypt portable storage and laptop computers, a much healthier figure than the 47 per cent of firms who have done so across the whole of the survey.

Business continuity planning was also part of the survey and again the UK came out on top, with 93 per cent of firms saying that they have a detailed scheme for dealing with disasters, much higher than the 60 per cent global average. Eighty-five per cent of UK firms have tested their business continuity plans, while just 55 per cent have done so on average.

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