Data Security Challenges

Chris Swagler | December 22nd, 2023


In an age where data security breaches constantly make headlines for all the wrong reasons, organizations are stepping up their efforts to protect their valuable assets from the ever-evolving threats of cybercrime. The results of the WinZip Enterprise survey, conducted among industry professionals responsible for safeguarding their organizations’ data, shed light on the proactive measures being taken to confront data security challenges head-on.

Confidence Amidst Concerns

Despite the constant barrage of security threats in the media, the survey reveals a certain level of confidence among those responsible for data security. An impressive 59% reported that their organizations had not fallen victim to a security breach in the past year, with an optimistic 64% believing they would remain breach-free in the coming year. This newfound confidence can be attributed to the increasing prioritization and investment in data security. An overwhelming 88% of respondents expressed that they considered their current data security solutions to be either very strong or somewhat strong. However, challenges persist, as 21% remained unsure about avoiding security breaches soon, and 41% admitted to experiencing security breaches in the previous year.

Security Tops the Priority List

It comes as no surprise that security stands as a top priority for organizations in 2023. Among nearly 500 IT industry professionals responsible for data security, a resounding 86% considered security to be of utmost importance. This emphasis on security aligns with the fact that 79% of respondents across various industries deal with personally identifiable information (PII), including payment card information (PCI) and personal health information (PHI). Much of this sensitive data is encrypted, largely driven by compliance with various regulations and industry standards. Financial records top the list of commonly encrypted data, followed by employee information and customer data, respectively.

Cloud Vulnerabilities on the Radar

While malware and ransomware attacks remain a significant concern for 64% of security professionals, the second most pressing external concern is cloud vulnerabilities, cited by 42% of respondents. With the growing adoption and constant evolution of cloud technologies, especially in the context of remote and flexible work environments, cloud vulnerabilities are poised to remain a significant challenge for many organizations. Other worries on the list include social engineering, phishing attacks, compromised or stolen security credentials, as well as threats originating from within the organization, such as weak passwords and employee negligence. Vulnerabilities associated with mobile devices also warrant attention.

Top 10 Data Security Threats

Aside from cloud-related concerns, the top ten data security threats that keep IT professionals awake at night include malware infections, social engineering, compromised credentials, vulnerabilities in third-party software, accidental email leaks, weak passwords, inadequate data protection, weak backup and recovery strategies, configuration mistakes, and the use of insecure removable media like USB flash drives.

Budgets on the Rise

The survey aimed not only to understand the challenges faced by data security professionals in 2023 but also to reveal how companies allocate their security budgets. In a world teeming with data security threats, it is no surprise that budgets continue to rise. An overwhelming 78% of respondents indicated plans to increase their security-related spending, with some reporting substantial investments. The survey found that most organizations allocate their data security budget in the low to mid six figures, with 35% reporting budgets between $100,000 and $500,000. Moreover, 18% of respondents allocate between $500,000 and $1 million, while 11% work for organizations that invest over $1 million in data security annually. The escalating concern over cloud vulnerabilities, coupled with the rapid adoption of cloud technologies and the demand for remote work capabilities, suggests a strong correlation between data security spending and the prevailing emphasis on safeguarding sensitive information.

The data security landscape continues to evolve, presenting new challenges and opportunities for organizations. Data security has become a paramount concern for industry professionals, as reflected in their increased budgets and proactive measures. Those entrusted with data security must remain vigilant, adapting to the ever-changing threat landscape while harnessing encryption and other tools to protect valuable assets in an increasingly digital world. At SpearTip, our team recognizes that security challenges in the cloud are different from challenges with on-premises solutions. Our team’s vast experience and proven methodology provide our clients with a comprehensive picture of the risks present within their cloud infrastructures and the remediation steps for each. We focus on security misconfigurations and deviations, including reviewing account privileges and analyzing current logging details from recommended cloud security architecture. As an approved Microsoft Azure and Preferred AWS vendor, SpearTip’s expertise dives deep into the cloud to prepare you for a security incident. SpearTip engages with companies’ people, processes, and technology to measure the maturity of the security environment. SpearTip’s extensive experience gained through responding to tens of thousands of security incidents and our consulting team’s experience in researching the most modern security practices will improve companies’ operational, procedural, and technical control gaps based on trusted security standards.

If your company is experiencing a breach, call our Security Operations Center at 833.997.7327 to speak directly with an engineer.


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