The rush to digital transformation is putting sensitive data at risk for organisations worldwide, according to a new report.

The 2019 Thales Data Threat Report, based on research and analysis from global market intelligence firm IDC, found that enterprises authorising multi-cloud deployments are struggling to implement proper data security.
 
The report consulted with 1,200 executives in nine countries.

Ninety-seven percent of respondents reported their organisation was already underway with some level of digital transformation and, with that, confirmed they are using and exposing sensitive data within these environments.
 
Aggressive digital transformers are most at risk for data breaches, but alarmingly, the study found that less than a third of respondents (only 30 per cent) are using encryption within these environments.
 
The study also found a few key areas where encryption adoption and usage are above average: IoT (42 per cent), Containers (47 per cent) and Big Data(45 per cent).

As companies move to the cloud or multi-cloud environments as part of their digital transformation journey, protecting their sensitive data is becoming increasingly complex.

Nine out of ten respondents are using, or will be using, some type of cloud environment, and 44 per cent rated complexity of that environment as a perceived barrier to implementing proper data security measures. In fact, this complexity is ahead of staff needs, budget restraints and securing organisational buy-in.
 
Globally, 60 per cent of organisations say they have been breached at some point in their history, with 30 per cent experiencing a breach within the past year alone.

Frank Dickson, research vice president for security products at IDC, said: “Our research shows that no organisation is immune from data security threats and, in fact, we found that the most sophisticated organisations are more likely to indicate that they have experienced a data security breach.

“This trend is consistent no matter how we define the sophistication of the audience: those who are spending more on IT security, those for whom data security is a larger portion of their security budget, or those who are further along in their digital transformation journey.”

Tina Stewart, vice president of market strategy at Thales eSecurity, said: “Data security is vitally important. Organisations need to take a fresh look at how they implement a data security and encryption strategy in support of their transition to the cloud and meeting regulatory and compliance mandates.”