Use of Encryption Is Increasing — Albeit Slowly

Daniel Solove
Founder of TeachPrivacy

old metal numbers

by Daniel J. Solove

According to a survey commissioned by Thales e-Security, the use of encryption by organizations is increasing.  Ten years ago, only 15% had an enterprise-wide encryption strategy. Now, 36% have such a strategy.

Chart Encryption Increase 01 Some other interesting findings from the survey also found, according to a ZDNet article:

Industries with the highest use of encryption:
1. Financial Services
2. Healthcare
3. Pharmaceuticals

Type of data most likely encrypted:
1. Employee and HR Data
2. Financial Records
3. Intellectual Property

Only about a third encrypted customer information.

The main driver that inspired organizations to use encryption was regulation.  This was more of a reason than “to protect information against specific, identified threats.”  This fact shows that regulation plays an important role, as some are more motivated to follow regulation than to protect themselves against risks.  Ironically, the costs of failing to follow regulation are often much less than the costs of a breach.

What about the 64% that aren’t using encryption in a systematic way?  Why aren’t they?

The survey listed the challenge of locating the sensitive data as the biggest one.  Another hurdle was figuring out the types of data to detect.  Storing and managing encryption keys was also identified as a major challenge.

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This post was authored by Professor Daniel J. Solove, who through TeachPrivacy develops computer-based privacy training, data security training, HIPAA training, and many other forms of awareness training on privacy and security topics. 

Privacy Security Forum Ad 22Professor Solove is the organizer, along with Paul Schwartz of the Privacy + Security Forum (Oct. 21-23 in Washington, DC), an event that aims to bridge the silos between privacy and security. 

If you are interested in privacy and data security issues, there are many great ways Professor Solove can help you stay informed:
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