September 10th 2020 – By Anna Cotton

New research reveals IT concerns over data breaches

Research published by Exonar reveals IT concerns over data breaches because 94 per cent of IT professionals have experienced one, and an overwhelming majority (79 per cent) are worried that their current organisation could be next.

The survey of 500 IT professionals found that when it comes to cybersecurity, employee data breaches are seen as the biggest risk to an organisation. Two fifths (40 per cent) of respondents named employee data breaches as the biggest overall threat to information security in the coming year, while a fifth (21 per cent) said external attacks from cybercriminals are the biggest risk to information security, and 20 per cent believe it is ransomware/malware attacks.

When looking at what causes employee data breaches, more than half (51 per cent) of IT professionals say these most commonly occur through external email services such as Gmail and Outlook. However, 42 per cent say employee data breaches have happened through collaboration tools such as Slack and Dropbox, and 41 per cent through SMS/messaging services. Just 6 per cent of those surveyed said they had never knowingly experienced a data breach.

Despite data breaches being front of mind for IT teams, 95 percent of IT professionals say it’s a challenge to get visibility across their organisations’ data estate, and only 39 per cent of organisations are taking active steps to gain visibility of their data.

Exonar’s CEO Danny Reeves said: “In simply performing their jobs, employees can unintentionally be the source of a data breach – by leaving high-risk information unprotected in the wrong place. It’s the responsibility of the company to provide the right methodology, technology, and processes that enable the workforce to continue to operate without burdening teams with undue process.”

“These days, every company is a data company, and large organisations often have thousands of systems and storage facilities. Unless companies are actively taking steps to know and understand their data, they’re leaving themselves vulnerable.”

Exonar’s data discovery software enables businesses to discover and understand their data at huge scale. It is the crucial component that makes billions of items of structured and unstructured data visible, accessible, and usable in one place. Exonar will reveal where an organisation’s most sensitive or risky data sits, whether policies and regulations are being adhered to by employees and where valuable information is hidden.