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Digital transformation opening up new avenues of attack

(Image credit: Shutterstock / alexacrib)

New research from Thales has claimed that businesses are struggling to safeguard their data as a consequence of digital transformation.

Companies looking to reap the rewards associated with digitisation - such as improved process efficiency and business intelligence - are also opening up new avenues of attack for cybercriminals.

The survey of IT and security executives found half of all business data is now stored in cloud environments, and 100 percent of respondents conceded to storing sensitive data in the cloud that is not encrypted.

Overall, almost half (47 percent) of organisations said they experienced a breach or failed a compliance audit in the past year.

Digital transformation

Despite delivering competitive advantages, digital transformation has also introduced greater complexity to the IT environment.

Businesses are using multiple Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) environments, as well as hundreds of SaaS applications at once. Four in ten respondents rated complexity as the most significant barrier to securing data effectively.

“As organisations face expanding and more complex cybersecurity challenges because of multi-cloud adoption and digital transformation, they need smarter and better ways to approach data protection,” said Frank Dickson, Cybersecurity Program Vice President at IDC.

“Employing robust data discovery, hardening, data loss prevention and encryption solutions provide an appropriate foundation for data security, completing the objective of pervasive cyber protection,” he advised.

Tina Stewart, Vice President of Global Market Strategy for Cloud Protection and Licensing Activity at Thales, added that developments in fields such as quantum computing will bring about new threats.

The majority of respondents anticipate quantum computing’s imminent arrival in business, with 72 percent expecting the technology to affect security and cryptographic operations within the next five years.

“As 5G networks are rolled out, IoT continues to expand and quantum computing creeps closer to becoming a reality, organisations must adopt a more modern data protection mindset,” Stewart noted.

“The first step towards protecting sensitive data is knowing where to find it. Once classified, this data should be encrypted and protected with strong multi-cloud key management strategy.”