Three quarters of businesses believe they couldn't stop a data breach

Only a quarter of U.K. businesses believe their organisation could detect a data breach at any time, a survey by software provider Informatica has shown.

The survey further shows that 33 per cent say their organisation is very good to excellent at detecting and containing breaches.

Meanwhile, nearly half (49 per cent) of respondents admit to having experienced a breach in the past 12 months and believe it could have been avoided if certain processes and intelligent technologies had been in place.

Fifty-six per cent of responding businesses say securing and protecting data is a high priority for them. In total, 59 per cent say that they worry about mistakes from a temporary worker or contractor, up from 53 per cent in 2014. Additionally, 52 per cent fear third party or outsourcers’ management of data.

An overwhelming majority (61 per cent) of businesses listed customer data as the information most at risk, followed by business intelligence (32 per cent) and the data contained within emails or attachments (29 per cent).

According to the survey, top data security solutions in place today include data classification, monitoring and discovery tools, with respondents believing that compliance and security could be improved through intelligent solutions, such as automated user access history with real-time monitoring (74 per cent), policy workflow automation (74 per cent) and automated data discovery/risk assessment (69 per cent).

“As the gap between believing in data security intelligence solutions and actually possessing them diminishes, so inevitably will the risk of data breaches,” said Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder, Ponemon Institute. “Given the growing business and societal costs of breaches, and the runaway proliferation of sensitive data, organisations need to seriously consider adopting a data-centric security stance without delay. To do otherwise may soon be construed as negligence.”

The survey of 118 U.K. IT and IT security professionals with responsibility for data protection was completed by the Ponemon Institute as part of the annual 2015 State of Data Security Intelligence study sponsored by Informatica.