Erring employees are the most prolific cause of data breaches and not cyber attacks by hackers in Hong Kong and Taiwan, according to businesses, an independent cybersecurity study reveals.
According to a study conducted by nCipher Security, a B2B applications provider, nearly half of the organization in Hong Kong and Taiwan cite “employee mistakes” as their biggest data security threat. 48% of the organization from the study said that their employees’ mistakes are more likely the case when a data breach happens; only 22% cite external hackers and 17% cite malicious hackers.
The data was revealed by 2019 Hong Kong and Taiwan Encryption Trends study from the Ponemon Institute. The annual review is conducted to capture how organizations, businesses, and institutions around the world are dealing with “compliance, increased threats, and the implementation of encryption to protect their business-critical information and applications.”
With the acknowledgment that human error is most likely to cause a data breach, nCipher says, and the prevalence of data breaches and data security issues around the world, organizations in both Hong Kong and Taiwan have started to realize the value of protecting themselves from data security breaches through data encryption.
“With corporate data breaches making headlines globally, encryption is vital in protecting data by making it unreadable to anyone other than those holding the corresponding encryption key,” reads a press release by nCipher.
A hopeful future awaits most of the organizations globally, with 45% of the respondents to the said study said that their organizations have a comprehensive and holistic encryption plan applied throughout their entire business. The trend was also observed to be continuously rising. However, the study notes that only 39% of organizations in both Hong Kong and Taiwan already have an encryption plan already in place; this is of direct contrast to Germany, which at 67% has the highest number of organization with encryption strategy being implemented.
“Organizations are under relentless pressure to protect their business-critical information and applications, but the proliferation of data, concerns around data discovery and policy enforcement, together with lack of cybersecurity skills makes this a challenging environment,” notes Michael Tai, head of sales, Greater China at nCipher Security.
But it is still not late for Hong Kong and Taiwan to catch up with implementing encryption policies throughout their industries as an overwhelming number of organizations have recognized the importance of protecting customer information and their intellectual property. Seventy-four percent of respondents see protecting customer personal information a priority – highest among all the regions surveyed and is 20% higher than the global average.
The most common type of data encrypted by organizations in Hong Kong and Taiwan is employee or human resources data (63%) and intellectual property (53%). The least common type of data to be encrypted is healthcare information (17%), which is 7% below the global average.
Furthermore, Hong Kong and Taiwan leads the world in cloud adaptation with 80% of respondents either currently using cloud computing services or planning to do so within the year. This is another reason, nCipher says, that organizations in both Asian countries are driven to have a robust data security policy and to implement a sound encryption strategy.
“Enterprises are increasingly turning to cloud environments to help them save time and money. While these technologies are digitally transforming businesses, there are potential security risks associated with them,” says Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute.
“Consequently the use of encryption to protect cloud data in Hong Kong and Taiwan is high just as it is elsewhere around the globe. Encryption usage is a clear indicator of a strong security posture. Organizations that deploy encryption are more aware of threats to sensitive and confidential information and making a greater investment in IT security.”
However, amidst the recognition of the need for encryption plans, organization cite data discovery as the most common factor that stops them from setting up encryption systems. Other factors cited by the respondents include classifying which data to encrypt and the ease of time with deploying encryption technologies.
“nCipher empowers customers by providing a high assurance security foundation that ensures the integrity and trustworthiness of their data, applications and intellectual property,” added Tai, encouraging organizations to treat data security as a priority and set up their data encryption systems.