The use of enterprise file encryption software has increased significantly in the past 12 months according to a new study conducted by the Ponemon Institute.
The study was conducted on 5,009 respondents from companies in the world’s top 11 economies. A range of industries were represented in the study.
According to the Thales e-Security-sponsored study, 41% of companies are now using enterprise file encryption software, compared to 34% last year and 16% ten years ago when the study was first conducted.
More than three times as many companies claimed to be extensive users of encryption technology this year than in 2014.
The rise in the use of encryption is partly due to the increased threat of cyberattacks, however, encryption is now built into many tools. The price of encryption has also reduced making its implementation more cost effective.
Enterprise file encryption software is most commonly used by organizations in the financial sector. 56% of financial sector companies now use encryption software to protect sensitive files. The healthcare industry has also shown increased adoption of enterprise file encryption software. Health data is being targeted by cybercriminals and encryption software is one of the most effective ways of protecting against PHI breaches.
The use of enterprise file encryption software is also high in the pharmaceutical industry. Bottom of the list was the manufacturing industry, with only a quarter of organizations using enterprise file encryption software.
However, databases are the most common applications to use encryption technology. Internet communications were in second place, while the use of encryption for portable devices such as hard drives, zip drives, and laptop computers has also increased. Backup devices are also commonly protected using encryption.
While databases are commonly protected using encryption, the same is not true of data stored in the cloud. According to the study, 40% of data in the cloud is not protected with encryption. Worryingly, 57% of organizations were unaware where their cloud data was actually stored. 58% of organizations said that cloud data encryption is left to their cloud service provider to sort out.
The study shows that 84% of respondents are looking to store data in the cloud, yet only 37% currently have a strategy or plan to encrypt those data. The decision not to encrypt data in the cloud could prove costly. Cybercriminals are aware that cloud data is often poorly protected. Many cybercriminals have now concentrated on hacking cloud services.