Research: Data Encryption

Jan 20, 2012


Data Encryption: Ushering In a New Era

As we analyzed the encryption trends highlighted by the 506 respondents to our InformationWeek 2012 Data Encryption Survey, we realized that this old technology--which dates, in some form, to 1900 B.C.--is proving invaluable to organizations looking to adopt a data-centric, rather than perimeter-based, security model. As we discuss in our data-centric security report, the anywhere, anytime access to data required to be competitive in business necessitates a new approach to protecting your assets. No longer can the security team just say "no" to new cloud offerings or implement security controls based on the mobile devices being used by employees. Instead, controls need to be based on the data being accessed.

We see this strategy coming to fruition as the use of mobile device encryption, cloud encryption and even email encryption continues to grow. Instead of encrypting data only on company-owned devices, we're seeing the growth of innovative products from vendors such as BoxCryptor and WatchDox that enable us to secure documents no matter where they reside or from which device they are accessed--on-site or cloud, smartphone or PC. Encryption is enabling the ideal of anywhere, anytime access to company data, and it's starting to be baked in to all types of IT products.

One stubborn problem with the data-centric model is that many legacy security technologies don't support encryption, and without an easily calculable ROI, few organizations have been willing to invest in reengineering existing controls. But according to our encryption survey respondents, and those in our 2012 Outlook Survey, cost is getting to be less of a roadblock.

That’s the good news. The bad news is, there are still problems with encryption, notably key management and interoperability. But you can overcome them. Here's how. (R4010112)

Survey Name   InformationWeek 2012 Data Encryption Survey
Survey Date   December 2011
Region   North America
Number of Respondents    506
Purpose   To determine the role of encryption technologies in the enterprise
Methodology   InformationWeek surveyed business technology decision-makers at North American companies. The survey was conducted online, and respondents were ­recruited via an email invitation containing an embedded link to the survey. The email invitation was sent to qualified InformationWeek subscribers.

Research Report