theDocumentId => 1341189 Encryption Helps Companies Avoid Breach Notifications

Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Application Security //

Database Security

Encryption Helps Companies Avoid Breach Notifications

With nearly twice as many firms suffering a breach compared with the previous year, limiting the damage becomes more important, a survey finds.

Companies that encrypt sensitive data have a significant chance to avoid the most major costs from a data breach because the theft of encrypted information usually does not trigger data-breach notification laws, according to survey results published on June 2. 

In the survey, conducted by 451 Research and sponsored by encryption firm Thales, almost half of respondents (46%) said they avoided disclosing a breach in the past because the stolen information had been stored encrypted. Overall, more than half of firms (56%) said they have suffered a breach in the past, while 41% of companies have suffered at least one data-loss event in the past 12 months, according to the "Thales 2021 Data Threat" report.

Related Content:

Zero-Trust Efforts Rise with the Tide of Remote Working

Special Report: Assessing Cybersecurity Risk in Today's Enterprises

New From The Edge: Microsoft 365: Most Common Threat Vectors & Defensive Tips

The average company encrypted only about 30% to 40% of its data, although that isn't a fair measure of whether the appropriate data is secure, says Todd Moore, vice president of encryption solutions at Thales.

"In practice, not all data is created equal," he says. "It is up to each organization to decide what is important to them, but I do think the metric is pretty telling. I would expect a higher amount of data to be encrypted in the cloud."

Only 17% of respondents estimated that their company encrypted at least half of its data.

The survey comes after a disruptive year. The pandemic has driven companies to adopt a remote workforce, driving the adoption of cloud-native business infrastructure. Changes to the endpoint security environment, such as devices sharing home networks and a lack of zero-trust architectures, resulted in more than half — 57% — of security experts concerned that the risk of a data breach has increased, according to Dark Reading's, 2021 State of Endpoint Security survey.

These changes are here to stay, respondents to the Thales survey believe. Almost two-thirds of companies (64%) said they expect that remote working will become a permanent facet of their business, while a third (32%) expect that the footprint of the physical office space will decrease going forward.

Overall, 82% of companies are worried about the risks the remote workers pose to security, according to the survey's results.

"[R]emote work is expected to continue at high levels, and ... there's growing acceptance that employees can work effectively in a remote setting," the report states. "That means that organizations will need security controls and remote access mechanisms that can be effective in the hybrid working environments that organizations have begun to embrace."

Companies suffered a significant increase in breaches over the past year, nearly double the breaches, or 21%, as firms suffered in 2019, according to the survey. 

In addition, senior executives and workers do not perceive the same level of threat. A smaller proportion of executives, 40%, consider the threat of cyberattack to be increasing, compared with the 60% who do not see an increase. Yet the majority of staff members, 56%, believe the volume, severity, or scope of attacks have increased, compared with the 44% who believe cyber threats have plateaued or declined.

Malicious insiders continue to worry security professionals, with 35% of respondents considering them the top threat, with human error — non-malicious insiders — the top threat for 31% of respondents. Only a third of companies consider either external attackers or nation-state actors to be the top threat.

Despite those trends, companies have only slowly adopted a zero-trust approach to security. Three in 10 firms have adopted a zero-trust policy, and 22% are currently evaluating the security approach.

"We get forgetful when we go out to the cloud sometimes. I do think the risks in cloud are there," Moore says. "The application provider is not responsible to protect you as an individual. When you are using cloud, you are configuring it to be used an appropriate way."

Finally, almost half of all business executives (47%) are worried that, in the future, quantum computing could make their encrypted data vulnerable again. 

"This level of awareness should be generating interest in post-quantum cryptographic techniques and efforts to improve crypto agility," the report says. "These are approaches to quantum computing risk that organizations should be considering today, as data protected with vulnerable approaches could still be valuable by the time that practical quantum decryption becomes available to threat actors."

Veteran technology journalist of more than 20 years. Former research engineer. Written for more than two dozen publications, including CNET, Dark Reading, MIT's Technology Review, Popular Science, and Wired News. Five awards for journalism, including Best Deadline ... View Full Bio

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
I Smell a RAT! New Cybersecurity Threats for the Crypto Industry
David Trepp, Partner, IT Assurance with accounting and advisory firm BPM LLP,  7/9/2021
Attacks on Kaseya Servers Led to Ransomware in Less Than 2 Hours
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  7/7/2021
It's in the Game (but It Shouldn't Be)
Tal Memran, Cybersecurity Expert, CYE,  7/9/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
The State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
In this report learn how enterprises are building their incident response teams and processes, how they research potential compromises, how they respond to new breaches, and what tools and processes they use to remediate problems and improve their cyber defenses for the future.
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
PUBLISHED: 2021-07-24
Amazon Echo Dot devices through 2021-07-02 sometimes allow attackers, who have physical access to a device after a factory reset, to obtain sensitive information via a series of complex hardware and software attacks. NOTE: reportedly, there were vendor marketing statements about safely removing pers...
PUBLISHED: 2021-07-23
PJSIP is a free and open source multimedia communication library written in C language implementing standard based protocols such as SIP, SDP, RTP, STUN, TURN, and ICE. In PJSIP before version 2.11.1, there are a couple of issues found in the SSL socket. First, a race condition between callback and ...
PUBLISHED: 2021-07-23
Contour is a Kubernetes ingress controller using Envoy proxy. In Contour before version 1.17.1 a specially crafted ExternalName type Service may be used to access Envoy's admin interface, which Contour normally prevents from access outside the Envoy container. This can be used to shut down Envoy rem...
PUBLISHED: 2021-07-23
An issue in Jumpserver 2.6.2 and below allows attackers to create a connection token through an API which does not have access control and use it to access sensitive assets.
PUBLISHED: 2021-07-23
Incorrect Access Control in Beckhoff Automation GmbH & Co. KG CX9020 with firmware version CX9020_CB3011_WEC7_HPS_v602_TC31_B4016.6 allows remote attackers to bypass authentication via the "CE Remote Display Tool" as it does not close the incoming connection on the Windows CE side if t...