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Ransomware surges as compliance stumbles – Thales Group

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Thales announced the release of the 2024 Thales Data Threat Report, its annual report on the latest data security threats, trends, and emerging topics based on a survey of nearly 3000 IT and security professionals in 18 countries across 37 industries. This year’s report found that 93% of IT professionals believe security threats are increasing in volume or severity, a significant rise from 47% last year.

 

THREATS CONTINUE TO INCREASE IN VOLUME AND SEVERITY

 

The number of enterprises experiencing ransomware attacks surged by over 27% in the past year. Despite this escalating threat, less than half of organizations have a formal ransomware plan in place, with 8% resorting to paying the ransom demands.

 

Malware stands out as the fastest-growing threat of 2024, with 41% of enterprises witnessing a malware attack in the past year – closely followed by phishing and ransomware. Cloud assets, including SaaS applications, cloud-based storage, and cloud infrastructure management, remain the primary targets for such attacks.

 

The report shows that for a second year running, human error remains the leading cause of data breaches, with 31% of enterprises pinpointing this as the root cause.

 

COMPLIANCE IS THE KEY TO DATA SECURITY

 

The research found that over two-fifths (43%) of enterprises failed a compliance audit in the past twelve months.

 

Of those who failed a compliance audit in the past twelve months, 31% experienced a breach that very same year. This compares to just 3% of those who had passed compliance audits.

 

OPERATIONAL COMPLEXITY CONTINUES TO CAUSE DATA HEADACHES

 

Fundamental understanding of what systems, applications, and data are at risk of continuing to lag due to changing regulatory and threat landscapes. Only a third (33%) of organizations can fully classify all of their data, with a worrying 16% stating that they classify very little or none of their data.

 

“Enterprises need to know exactly what they’re trying to protect. With global data privacy regulations continually changing, they need to have good visibility across their organization to stand any chance of staying compliant,” said Sebastien Cano, Senior Vice President at Thales Cloud Protection and Licensing.

 

“If there’s one key takeaway from this year’s study, it’s that compliance is key. In fact, companies that had a good hold over their compliance processes and passed all their audits were also less likely to suffer a breach. We’ll start to see more compliance and security functions coming together. This would be a huge positive step to strengthen cyber defenses and build trust with customers,” he added.

 

EMERGING TECHNOLOGY POSES BOTH THREATS AND OPPORTUNITIES

 

The report also explored which emerging technologies are top-of-mind for IT and security professionals, with 57% identifying Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a huge source of concern. This was closely followed by IoT (55%) and Post Quantum Cryptography (45%).

 

That said, enterprises are also looking at the opportunities that emerging technologies bring, with over a fifth (22%) planning to integrate Generative AI into their security products and services in the next 12 months, and a third (33%) planning to experiment integrating the technology.

 

Source: Thalesgroup.com

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