Three in five UK businesses expect a breach in 2017

Nearly a third of UK businesses leaders expect a breach of their files or data in 2017 without their organisation knowing it.

SailPoint announces the results of its ninth annual Market Pulse Survey which explores how enterprises are changing their approach to security, amid an evolving threat landscape that sees almost daily announcements of data breach or hacks, including some of the largest ever recorded.

This years’ Market Pulse Survey finds that of the 50 per cent who report breach in 2016, the average material impact to the business was £3.1million ($4 million). The survey also finds that 35 per cent of companies suffered two or more breaches in the last twelve months. Unfortunately, three in five expect to be breached in 2017, with 29 per cent believing they won’t even know they were breached when it happens.

As a result, survey respondents focus on mitigating their exposure points as an organisation – with 65 per cent seeing identity management as a foundation of their security strategy.

The SailPoint Market Pulse Survey provides a global benchmark into how IT decision-makers are navigating today’s compliance and security challenges. The company commissioned independent research firm Vanson Bourne to interview 600 senior IT decision-makers at organisations with at least 1,000 employees across Australia, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Common areas of risk

  • Documents and files may be an enterprise’s biggest downfall in 2017: Unstructured data that lives outside of structured corporate systems and applications is a huge red flag for enterprises today – even though that data runs rampant through a typical enterprise, 41 per cent aren’t sure how to manage and protect that data from theft.
  • Employees need to understand – and follow – corporate security policies: More one-third of respondents (42 per cent) cite trends like Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) and Shadow IT as great areas of risk for their organisation, yet less than half have formalised corporate security policies in place. Coupled with the risks posed by continued poor password hygiene cited by 25 per cent of respondents, it’s clear that enterprises need to better outline and enforce corporate security policies, company-wide.
  • The contractor workforce is an enterprise blind spot: The surge in freelancers, contract workers and other third parties that make up today’s diverse workforce presents a significant challenge for organisations as it relates to managing identities and their access. Nearly half (46 per cent) of respondents are concerned with the threat that contractors may pose to their organisation, with 70 per cent admitting they don’t have full visibility into the access contractors have to corporate systems and the sensitive data that lies within.

‘This year’s Market Pulse Survey highlights that the conversation is clearly changing as organisations consider how to mitigate their risk – or minimise their exposure when a breach happens,’ says Juliette Rizkallah, chief marketing officer for SailPoint.

‘This is a positive change, as fostering open conversations and best practices will only benefit these organisations when they find themselves in the unfortunate position of being breached. The common areas of exposure can be addressed, but many organisations are struggling with how or even where to start. This report provides a clear roadmap for them to get their house in order.’

IT decision-makers at the centre of security

· 46 per cent of respondents are concerned about proper visibility into who has access to what across their corporate network, with a majority (86 per cent) admitting that if their CEO’s email was hacked, they wouldn’t immediately know what their exposure points were.

· 77 per cent of respondents now understand the importance of having strong identity governance controls in place across their organisation’s entire IT infrastructure, especially when it comes to showcasing that those controls are in place to their board of directors.

· The benefits of an identity governance programme are clear, with respondents citing enhanced security (65 per cent), a more automated and efficient organisation (64 per cent), and business enablement (58 per cent), as key business benefits.

· Specific to European respondents, as the GDPR compliance deadline looms, compliance bubbled to the top as a key goal and driver behind identity governance programmes for nearly three-quarters (73 per cent) of UK respondents

‘There is a silver lining to our report. It’s clear that now more than ever before, organisations better understand what – and where – their risks are, and that identity management can help address those risks. Identity provides that ability to put the detective and preventive controls in place to address all of these exposure points, while automating many identity-related processes to ensure that only the right people have the right access to applications and data at the right time,’ continues Juliette Rizkallah.

‘By putting identity at the centre of security and IT operations, these organisations can move their IT teams out of full-time firefighting mode, freeing them up to focus on enabling the business to move forward, confidently and securely.’

Further reading on data breach

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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