Cyber Security

Research reveals organisations need to improve data protection

19th November 2018
Anna Flockett


According to new research from Veritas Technologies, while data is quickly becoming recognised as an organisation’s most important digital asset, the majority of the UK companies need to make improvements when it comes to day-to-day management of data.  

With increased scrutiny of organisations handling customer data, ongoing global headlines around malicious data breaches faced by businesses, and the introduction of more stringent data compliance mandates, it’s more important than ever for companies to have a structured risk management policy when it comes to safeguarding data and gaining necessary insights to propel their business forward.

The new study, which was conducted by Vanson Bourne for Veritas, surveyed approximately 1,000 IT decision makers and data managers across 15 countries. It revealed that an overwhelming 84% of respondents say that their organisation needs to make improvements when it comes to ensuring data compliance, while 83% say improvements need to be made with data security and risks.

Furthermore, 815 in the UK say their organisation could improve the level of data visibility and control and more than three-quarters (77%) of those surveyed say their organisation needs to improve processes for data recoverability from data loss or a ransomware attack. Only 15% believe their organisation is putting data to effective use to drive the business forward.

The survey also reveals that less than a quarter (22%) of IT professionals in the UK feel that data flows seamlessly through their organisation, with visibility, accessibility and transferability across different job functions and departments. By contrast, more than four in five (83%) respondents agree their organisation could improve data sharing practices across business functions. 

Data sprawl a big challenge in managing data
Respondents cited the following as complex organisational factors that are turning data management into an uphill battle:

  • Too many different tools and systems being used to work effectively (43%)
  • Too many data sources to make sense of (40%)
  • A lack of a centralised strategy/approach to data management (38%)
  • A lack of the right skills/technology to harness the power of data (36%)
  • Spiralling costs make data management harder (28%)
  • Inability to back up and recover data reliably (27%)

Less than one in ten (8%) of IT decision makers and data managers surveyed said their organisation faced no data management challenges. 

“The exponential growth of unstructured data has led to organisations storing information across a variety of different environments with, on average, more than half (51%) of company data now stored in the cloud, compared to 39% stored on premises,” said Jason Tooley, VP Northern Europe, Veritas. “But as data becomes more siloed and sprawled, it is tougher to see, manage, access and protect, creating significant challenges.

“In an age where effective data management practices can make an organisation and fuel new business models, its exposure can also bring a company to its knees. That is why businesses must build a solid foundation for data management to not only protect against cyber criminals or comply with data regulations, but also pave the way for driving innovation and success in today’s digital economy.”

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