We’ve just released the findings of the Alertsec SMB 2015 Encryption Study, and they reveal strong concerns among SMBs (small-to-medium businesses) about the effectiveness of standard security precautions and the risk of data breach. Encryption is recognized as an indispensable tool and 90% of respondents agreed that work computers should be encrypted. A number of respondents admitted that they had sought encryption services after someone they knew had been fined for data breach. You can read more about the survey results below and on our website.
Data security increasingly dominates the news and Alertsec has been frequently mentioned and quoted in the media. On our website we’ve created a new page, Alertsec in the News, where you can find relevant articles and commentary.
The Alertsec SMB 2015 Encryption Study revealed that businesses overwhelmingly fear that standard security precautions create a false sense of security for laptop and mobile users. For example, more than two-thirds of executives (68%) believe auto-saved passwords are not secure, and 48% believe never logging out of user profiles decreases security.
An overwhelming majority of respondents (87%) admitted they feared data breaches.
When pressed further, they listed their concerns:
40% of respondents said they fear leaving their laptop in the car and consequently having their identity stolen
37% fear having their laptop stolen while working at a coffee shop
30% fear burglars breaking into their homes and obtaining online banking information
27% fear having their laptop stolen at airport security and having their Dropbox and photo files breached
However, respondents said that encryption as a service is an indispensable tool for SMB owners. 75% said that encryption gives them a peace of mind. Over 60% like having a 24/7 help desk support, and more than 50% revealed that having everything on their disk encrypted is important.
According to a recent Ponemon Institute report, the average cost of a data breach is now $6.53 million for a U.S. organization, an 11% increase since last year. In addition, key legal and regulatory changes have increased the financial risk to companies with lax data security. Companies found to have substandard data security practices may face a variety of penalties. The Ponemon Institute study concluded that, while companies should assume that data breaches are a new fact of life, a variety of security measures including extensive use of encryption could significantly decrease the cost of a breach.
OU Medicine in Oklahoma suffered a data breach when a laptop potentially containing patient information was stolen from a former OU physician. The laptop contained limited information for approximately 9,300 pediatric patients. While no addresses, social security numbers, or other billing information was stored on the device, the organization will provide one year of free credit monitoring to potentially affected individuals.