Data security struggling as aspirational businesses focus on other parts of tech strategy

Organisations recognise the importance of data security in the future, but are struggling to translate that knowledge into clear policies that demonstrate transparency and trust, a new survey has found.

VansonBourne's Information Generation research, supported by EMC, polled 3600 director and executive-level respondents in 18 countries about their priorities across a range of technology and business goals.

Transparency and trust were rated by 18 percent of respondents as the most important trait of contemporary businesses, while an additional 56 percent put the traits in their top three priorities.

Yet transparency and trust remain largely aspirational for most companies, with just 14 percent of respondents indicating that they were demonstrating those traits. This was the lowest-ranked response of six key indicators measured in the survey, which also found that 52 percent of respondents were delivering transparency and trust and 35 percent had not even started doing it.

Challenges in implementing data-security protections were among the reasons, with the business need to protect data continuing to conflict with the need to collect, analyse and exploit it for the business.

Some 63 percent of respondents said their decision making would be improved by having relevant data available at the point where it was needed – something that requires data to be far more readily accessible than it currently is.

Encryption and data security will be “a central component” of future IT investments, with 62 percent of respondents accepting the importance of those technologies down the track. Yet 44 percent of respondents admitted that they were struggling to balance cybersecurity risks with demands for ease of access.

EMC director of healthcare Clive Gold believes these figures reflect the inherent conflict with which organisations are struggling as they seek to “leverage new disruptive technologies to meet the demands of the Information Generation.”

“It's essential that our business models transform,” he said in a statement. “The journey begins today if these organisations are to successfully compete and survive in the new digital world.”

But that journey is fraught with complexity, and the surveyed executives readily admitted that they weren't able to act upon the information they were collecting. Thirty-eight percent said they weren't able to turn their learnings from collected data into “sizeable, actionable results” while 14 percent said information overload was actually hindering decision-making.

Just 27 percent nominated security as being a core part of their technology strategy – compared with 47 percent naming a customer-focused culture and 39 percent an innovative culture – although 36 percent saw IT security as being a major technology trend for the future.

This article is brought to you by Enex TestLab, content directors for CSO Australia.

Tags emcdata encryptionIT strategiesclive goldCSO Australiacybersecurity risksVansonBournetech strategy

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