nCipher Security, the provider of trust, integrity and control for business critical information and applications, revealed that close to half (48%) of organizations in Hong Kong and Taiwan cite “employee mistakes” as their biggest data security threat, more than external hackers (22%) and malicious insiders (17%) combined.
Cloud adoption dominates in the region, with cloud data protection requirements a significant driver for encryption deployment. These are key findings from the 2019 Hong Kong and Taiwan Encryption Trends Study from the Ponemon Institute.
Threats, drivers and priorities
With corporate data breaches making headlines globally, encryption is vital in protecting data by making it unreadable to anyone other than those holding the corresponding encryption key. The deployment of an overall encryption strategy by organizations around the world has steadily increased with 45% of respondents globally saying their organization has an overall encryption plan applied consistently across the entire enterprise. In Hong Kong and Taiwan 39% of organizations have an encryption plan in place. This is in contrast to Germany, which at 67% has the highest number of organizations with an encryption strategy.
The main driver for encryption is protection of customer information and an enterprise’s intellectual property. Almost three-quarters (74%) of respondents see protecting customer personal information as a priority, the highest of any region surveyed and 20% higher than the global average. The protection of intellectual property also ranked highly at 70%, 16% higher than the global average. The most common type of data encrypted by organizations in Hong Kong and Taiwan is employee or human resources data (63%) and intellectual property (53%). The least common type of data to be encrypted is healthcare information (17%), which is 7% below the global average.
Cloud adoption dominates in Hong Kong and Taiwan with 80% of respondents either currently using cloud computing services or planning to do so in the next 12-24 months. Cloud data protection requirements are a significant driver for encryption requirements. Almost all (91%) organizations in Hong Kong and Taiwan want encryption solutions that operate across both enterprise and cloud environments, a number that is 23% higher than the global average.
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Data discovery the number one challenge
With the explosion and proliferation of data that comes from digital initiatives, cloud use, mobility and IoT devices, data discovery continues to be the biggest challenge in planning and executing a data encryption strategy: 59% of respondents cite this as their number one challenge. Classifying which data to encrypt is rated higher as a challenge in Hong Kong and Taiwan than all other regions (46% vs. the global average of 32%). On the other hand, respondents report an easier time with deploying encryption technologies, as only 32% rated that as a challenge (10% lower than the global average).
Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute, says: “Enterprises are increasingly turning to cloud environments to help them save time and money. While these technologies are digitally transforming businesses, there are potential security risks associated with them. Consequently the use of encryption to protect cloud data in Hong Kong and Taiwan is high just as it is elsewhere around the globe. Encryption usage is a clear indicator of a strong security posture. Organizations that deploy encryption are more aware of threats to sensitive and confidential information and making a greater investment in IT security.”
Michael Tai, head of sales, Greater China at nCipher Security, says: “Organizations are under relentless pressure to protect their business critical information and applications, but the proliferation of data, concerns around data discovery and policy enforcement, together with lack of cybersecurity skills makes this a challenging environment. nCipher empowers customers by providing a high assurance security foundation that ensures the integrity and trustworthiness of their data, applications and intellectual property.”
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Other key trends include:
- Compared with many other regions around the world Hong Kong and Taiwan are less driven to use encryption to comply with data security regulations (34% compared with 46% globally) and prepare for compliance audits (18% compared with 31% globally).
- When protecting cloud data, organizations in Hong Kong and Taiwan are currently using encryption, and hardware security modules (HSMs) to protect their encryption keys, more than their global counterparts. Specifically: 38% use HSMs for public cloud encryption, including bring your own key (BYOK) (vs. 32% globally); 31% use HSMs with Cloud Access Security Brokers for encryption key management (vs 26% globally).
Visit nCipher at Cloud Expo Asia, Hong Kong, 22-23 May, at booth C12. Drop by to find out how cryptographic solutions guard against today’s threats and attacks, enable compliance and protect business applications. Join Ian Christofis on 22 May at 11.15am for his presentation on multi-cloud security. Ian will discuss how to best protect data in multi-cloud environments.
2019 Global Encryption Trends Study methodology
The 2019 Global Encryption Trends Study, based on research by the Ponemon Institute, captures how organizations around the world are dealing with compliance, increased threats, and the implementation of encryption to protect their business critical information and applications. 5,856 individuals were surveyed across multiple industry sectors in 14 countries/regions: Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, the Middle East (which is a combination of respondents located in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates), the Russian Federation, South Korea, the United Kingdom, the United States and, two new regions in Asia for the first time, Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam) and Hong Kong and Taiwan.