Thales eSecurity News Release

89 Percent of UK Organisations Vulnerable to Data Threats

Fear of exposure to brand and reputation damage the top reason for protecting data 2016 Vormetric Data Threat Report – European Edition

LONDON, England – May 24, 2016Thalesesecurity, a Thales company, and a leader in enterprise data protection for physical, virtual, big data, and cloud environments, today announced the results of the European Edition of the 2016 Thales eSecurity Data Threat Report (DTR). The report is issued in conjunction with analyst firm 451 Research, reporting responses from senior IT security executives at large enterprises worldwide, including 100 from UK organisations. This edition of the fourth annual report extends earlier findings of the global report, focusing on responses from IT security leaders in European organisations, which detail IT security spending plans, perceptions of threats to data, rates of data breach failures and data security stances.

“For UK-based organisations, protecting reputation and brand integrity was the top reason for securing sensitive information at 50 percent,” said Garrett Bekker, senior analyst, information security, at 451 Research and the author of the 2016 Vormetric Data Threat Report. “But IT security spending plans tell another story, with compliance the top priority at 48 percent, while reputation and brand protection spending dropped to 45 percent. Clearly, organisations are having trouble prioritising their budgets to best ensure the safety of customers and the viability of their business.”

Key findings from the report include:

  • 89 percent of UK organisations feel somewhat or more vulnerable than they have been in the past to both internal and external threats to sensitive data, with 23 percent feeling ‘very or extremely’ vulnerable
  • When asked to pick the three most important reasons for securing sensitive data, the top answers were ‘reputation and brand protection’, given by 50 percent of UK organisations, ‘compliance requirements’, given by 47 percent and ‘implementing best security practices’, given by 41 percent
  • IT security spending plans contrasted with this, with compliance requirements the top priority at 48 percent while reputation and brand protection dropped to second at 45 percent
  • 46 percent of UK organisations have experienced a data breach at some stage, with nearly one in five (19 percent) being breached in the last 12 months
  • 42 percent of UK respondents planning to adopt Internet of Things (IoT) technologies say protecting sensitive data generated by an IoT device is their biggest security concern
  • Planned IT security spending by UK organisations for the next 12 months is highest for ‘network defences’ (42 percent), ‘analysis and correlation tools’ (39 percent) and ‘endpoint and mobile defences’ (38 percent)

Click To Tweet: UK IT Security Pros worried about their data

Compliance continues to act as a security driver – but compliance alone is not enough

Although there is a growing appreciation that the impact a data breach has on a brand’s reputation cannot be underestimated, UK organisations continue to strongly associate compliance with security, despite data breaches continuing to affect organisations that have been certified as compliant.

“Compliance does not ensure security,” continues Bekker. “As we learned from data theft incidents at companies that had reportedly met compliance mandates (such as TalkTalk, Morrison’s and others), being compliant doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be breached and have your sensitive data stolen. UK organisations don’t seem to fully appreciate this, with almost half (47 percent) rating compliance as a top reason for protecting data, and with compliance the topmost IT security spending priority (48 percent).”

Organisations are spending ineffectively to prevent data breaches

With nearly one in five UK organisations experiencing a breach in the last 12 months, it is unsurprising that many are planning increased security spending over the coming year. However, most are planning investments in tools like network and endpoint defences which have been proven to be largely ineffective against current threats to company data.

“Enterprises and public sector organisations are under increasing scrutiny from stakeholders and the public where it comes to safeguarding confidential and sensitive information,” said Louise Bulman, Vice President of EMEA for Thales eSecurity. “It’s therefore surprising and concerning that companies are continuing to over-rely on tools that consistently fail against modern, multi‐layered attacks. Technology that concentrates fundamentally on controlling access to data is a far more affective approach, and one which can bring about additional benefits by enabling technologies like cloud, big data and IoT which may otherwise have been deemed too risky.”

The research report is available from Thales eSecurity and can be found here.

About 451 Research

451 Research is a preeminent information technology research and advisory company. With a core focus on technology innovation and market disruption, we provide essential insight for leaders of the digital economy. More than 100 analysts and consultants deliver that insight via syndicated research, advisory services and live events to over 1,000 client organizations in North America, Europe and around the world. Founded in 2000 and headquartered in New York, 451 Research is a division of The 451 Group.

About Vormetric, a Thales company

Thales eSecurity’s comprehensive high-performance data protection platform helps companies move confidently and quickly. Our seamless and scalable platform is the most effective way to protect data wherever it resides—any file, database and application, in any server environment. Advanced transparent encryption, powerful access controls and centralized key management let organizations encrypt everything efficiently, with minimal disruption. Regardless of content, database or application—whether physical, virtual or in the cloud—Vormetric Data Security enables confidence, speed and trust by encrypting the data that builds business. Vormetric Data Security was recently acquired by Thales Group and is now a Thales company.

Please visit: and find us on Twitter @Thalesesecurity.

About Thales

Thales is a global technology leader for the Aerospace, Transport, Defence and Security markets. With 62,000 employees in 56 countries, Thales reported sales of €14 billion in 2015. With over 22,000 engineers and researchers, Thales has a unique capability to design and deploy equipment, systems and services to meet the most complex security requirements. Its exceptional international footprint allows it to work closely with its customers all over the world.

Positioned as a value-added systems integrator, equipment supplier and service provider, Thales is one of Europe’s leading players in the security market. The Group’s security teams work with government agencies, local authorities and enterprise customers to develop and deploy integrated, resilient solutions to protect citizens, sensitive data and critical infrastructure.

Drawing on its strong cryptographic capabilities, Thales is a global leader in data protection and one of the world leaders in cybersecurity products and solutions for defence, critical infrastructure and telecommunication operators, industrial and financial companies. Covering the entire cybersecurity chain, Thales offers a comprehensive range of services and solutions that includes: cybersecurity consulting and testing, cyber-secured software centric system design / development / integration and certification, provision and through-life management of data protection products and services, secured IT outsourcing and cloud computing solutions, as well as managed security services based on our network of Security Operation Centers in France, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.


Andy Kicklighter
Thales eSecurity Media Relations
+1 408-908-6260
Dorothée Bonneil
Thales Media Relations – Security
+33 (0)1 57 77 90 89
Liz Harris
Thales eSecurity Media Relations
+44 (0)1223 723612