UK firms still relying on perimeter defences for cyber security

Despite the increasing number of data breaches and the looming GDPR compliance deadline, many companies are still relying on perimeter defences and are underinvesting in technologies to keep data safe, research has revealed

Some 96% of UK businesses feel as though their network perimeter security is effective at keeping unauthorised users out of their network, according to the fourth-annual Gemalto Data Security Confidence Index.

Across the 10 global regions surveyed, 94% of the more than 1,000 IT professionals said perimeter security is effective, but only 35% said they were extremely confident their data would be secure if perimeter defences were breached. In contrast, 58% of UK respondents said they were extremely confident that their data would be secure in the event of a breach.

However, the survey also revealed that 46% of UK businesses are only protecting their customers’ data with passwords, and when considering their latest data breaches, 75% of the data stolen from businesses on average was not encrypted, with 11% of businesses not encrypting any of their data.

“As a security professional, it feels like I’ve been saying forever that basic perimeter security measures are no longer enough,” said Joe Pindar, director of data protection product strategy at Gemalto.

“So it’s worrying to see the UK is continuing to place ultimate faith in these systems, without thinking about what attackers actually want – their data,” he said.

Without a switch in mentality, and starting to protect the data at its source with robust encryption and two-factor authentication, Pindar said the UK is like one of the three little pigs.

“Unfortunately, the one sitting in the straw house – not realising that when the time comes, passwords and perimeter security alone will not stand up to attackers,” he said.

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