Sophos Survey Reveals Business Encryption Data Habits


First Distribution's most recently acquired vendor, Sophos, conducted a survey recently to give it a better understanding of where companies can do better in the field of data encryption.

The findings were, according to Sophos, concerning. The survey revealed that while many companies take the security of their customer data seriously, employees are not protected to the same level. Private, highly sensitive employee data, including banking details, human resources (HR) files, and personal healthcare records, are frequently not protected by encryption.

In his blog post on the Sophos website, Dan Schiappa, senior vice president and general manager of Enduser Security at Sophos, writes that 31% of the companies surveyed that store this type of data admitted that employee bank details are not always encrypted, and 43% don’t always encrypt employee HR records. Also, nearly half (47%) of those that store employee healthcare information fail to always encrypt these records.

Company data remains at risk as well. Nearly one-third (30%) of organisations surveyed fail to always encrypt their own corporate financial information, and 41% inconsistently encrypts files containing valuable intellectual property, despite the increasing risks of economic espionage.

Meanwhile, cloud data security is one area driving increased adoption of encryption. More than eight in ten companies (84%) expressed concern about the safety of data stored in the cloud. Nevertheless, while 80% are using the cloud for storage, only 39% encrypt all files stored in the cloud.

This led Dan to ask – why are so many companies failing to protect all types of data, everywhere and at all times?

Companies cite budget, performance concerns and lack of deployment knowledge as the top three barriers to implementing an encryption solution, and The State of Encryption Today survey confirms that while encryption is widely used and accepted by businesses, there are critical gaps.

Promises to do better “next time” come too late, after the damage has already been done, and for the organisations and individuals who are victims of data breaches, a single breach is one too many.

Sophos' next-generation encryption solutions can be easy to deploy and quite cost-effective. The company has put together several free resources such as videos and guides to help users better secure all their data at

To find out more about First Distribution's range of Sophos next-generation security and encryption solutions, contact Lynton on 011 540 2640.

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