61% of IT professionals have experienced a data breach at their organisation, according to research by McAfee into today’s global security landscape.
With responses from IT professionals in the UK, US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India and Singapore from a number of different industries, the survey results suggest organisations are struggling across the board to protect against data breaches and to fully secure their digital assets.
A number of issues were cited as increasing the risk of data breaches for organisations, including the growing take up of remote working.
According to those surveyed, cybercriminals are using a broad range of sophisticated methods to steal organisations’ sensitive cyber information, including database leaks, cloud applications and removable USB drivers.
Organisational accountability was also examined. 61% have been asked by their C-Level executives for exemptions to data security rules for their accounts, which respondents said are leading to more digital security incidents. 55% said C-Level executives should face penalties, such as dismissal, from a serious data breach.
GDPR raises stakes for UK businesses
The report also found that data breaches are becoming more serious, impacting both personally identifiable information (PII) and intellectual property (IP). PII was of greater concern to respondents in Europe (49%) due to the recent introduction of GDPR.
Increased regulation in this area and new punitive powers taking effect under GDPR mean UK companies face reputational risk and financial penalties resulting from mandatory public disclosure of data breaches and cyber attacks.
The report calls for organisations to look beyond the IT department to instil a culture of security through training and encouraging good ‘security hygiene’.