Given the increasing number of connected endpoints and the easy access to information they provide, there has been a growing need for companies to shift to a data-centric approach to security. The results of a new InformationWeek Reports survey show that many are heeding this call.
According to the study, Data Encryption: Ushering In a New Era, more than 91 percent of companies polled by researchers said they use some form of encryption as part of their data security practices. That figure is up from the 86 percent of respondents who answered similarly in 2009.
"As longstanding protocols come under attack and sensitive data moves to mobile devices and offsite cloud providers' systems, encryption adoption is growing, albeit modestly," the report stated.
Although encryption appears to be widespread, researchers said, companies could still be doing more to utilize the security measure within their individual organizations. For example, 19 percent of respondents categorized their use of encryption as pervasive, meaning it has been deployed across the entire enterprise. And just 33 percent of respondents have deployed the data security technology at the database level.
The report cited online retailer Zappos as an example of proper use of encryption. Even though the company recently suffered a data breach, its adoption of encryption helped minimize the damage, report author and Savid Technologies CEO Michael Davis said.
"Despite media attention, Zappos actually is a poster child for proper encryption of credit card data," he said. "They tokenized the data, so nothing was actually breached. The last four digits of a credit card are useless to an attacker. And Zappos obfuscated passwords."
Other report findings show that Social Security numbers are the type of data most commonly encrypted, as cited by 67 percent of respondents. And the rise of smartphone and tablet use among global professionals has also fueled the adoption of encryption, as 49 percent of respondents have implemented the data protection technology for mobile devices.
In 2011, enterprise key and certificate management solutions provider Venafi released its latest market outlook, which tracked companies' use and oversight of encryption programs. Among other results, the survey of more than 470 organizations found that 46 percent manage at least 1,000 encryption certificates and 20 percent manage more than 10,000. Those figures support the report's conclusion that more organizations are now using encryption.
Data Security News from SimplySecurity.com by Trend Micro