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Only 30% of ME firm have data encryption strategies: report

Thales has announced the findings of the Middle East edition of its 2017 Global Encryption Trends Study.

Philip Schreiber, Thales e-Security

The report, issued in conjunction with the Ponemon Institute, investigates the encryption deployment plans of Middle East businesses, the decision makers responsible for setting encryption strategy, and the use of encryption to secure data within enterprise and cloud applications.

According to the study, in the Middle East, only 30 percent respondents have a comprehensive encryption strategy – a number that stands in marked contrast to the global rate of 41 percent. At 33 percent, IT operations has the most influence in directing that strategy. This finding is also in contrast to the global figure, where for the first time in the history of the study, business unit leaders had the highest influence.

Other critical findings demonstrate organisations show a preference for control over encryption in the cloud and are readily deploying hardware security modules (HSMs) to protect their data. 60 percet of respondents take one of two routes: they either perform encryption on premise prior to sending data to the cloud, or encrypt in the cloud using keys they generate and manage on premise

Only 37 percent are willing to turn over complete control of keys and encryption processes to cloud providers

Furthermore, it revealed that the top two software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications that respondents currently encrypt with, or plan to encrypt with, are Microsoft Office 365 (50 percent) and Salesforce.com (38 percent)

Philip Schreiber, regional sales director, Thales e-Security MEASA, said, “As businesses the world over increasingly turn to cloud services, we’re seeing a rapid rise in sensitive or confidential data being transferred to the cloud and yet in the Middle East less than a third of respondents had an overall, consistently applied encryption strategy. Encryption is now widely accepted as best-practice for securing data and a good encryption strategy depends on well-implemented encryption and proper key management. Thales hardware security modules (HSMs) have provided reliable high-assurance key management for decades and this year’s study underscores their importance in securing a wide range of critical applications.”

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