Sophos Survey: Employee Banking Data, Personal Information at Risk

Sophos (LSE: SOPH), a global leader in network and endpoint security, today announced the findings of its recent survey, The State of Encryption Today. The survey polled 1,700 IT decision makers from mid-sized businesses in the United States, Canada, India, Australia, Japan and Malaysia, about their encryption habits, concerns and plans.

Key findings of the survey reveal that private, highly-sensitive employee information, including banking details, human resource (HR) files and personal healthcare records, are at risk. While many companies take the security of their customer data seriously, employees are not protected to the same level.

In reality, company data remains at risk as well, as nearly one-third (30 percent) of all organisations surveyed, fail to always encrypt their own corporate financial information, and nearly half (41 percent) inconsistently encrypt files containing valuable intellectual property.

According to the survey, the key barriers in encryption are lack of budget, performance concerns and lack of encryption deployment knowledge. In addition to these top three encryption barriers, some organisations also cited a lack of legal regulation pressure and some believed that encryption is not an effective tool for securing sensitive data.

Encryption adoption is relatively mature in the US, with 54 percent of organisations making extensive use of it. However only 26 percent of corporations in Malaysia do the same.

IT leaders surveyed globally are aware of high-profile data breaches, and 45 percent of organisations in Malaysia agree that these breaches have a significant effect in driving people to protect their data with encryption.

Cloud data security is also driving encryption adoption. More than eight in ten companies (84 percent) expressed concern about the safety of data stored in the cloud. Nevertheless, while 80 percent are using the cloud for storage, only 39 percent encrypt all files stored in the cloud. The US leads all six countries with a propensity to encrypt all files in the cloud with 48 percent of those surveyed in America doing so.  Malaysia is at the opposite end of the spectrum with only 17 percent of businesses surveyed encrypting all files in the cloud.

“The State of Encryption Today survey confirms that while encryption is widely used and accepted by businesses, it also highlights critical gaps,” commented Dan Schiappa, senior vice president and general manager of Enduser Security at Sophos. “Unfortunately, I am not surprised by the findings because too many people mistakenly believe that encryption is too complicated or too expensive to implement. The reality is that modern, next-generation encryption solutions can be easy to deploy and quite cost-effective.”

However, looking to the future, 90 percent of organisations plan to extend data protection using encryption, with 69 percent looking to do so within the next 2 years. In Malaysia, 94 percent of organisations are planning to extend their data protection with encryption.

The State of Encryption Today survey includes 1,700 IT decision makers interviewed in the U.S., Canada, India, Australia, Japan and Malaysia. All respondents were from organizations with 100 to 2,000 employees in all sectors, excluding government.  Vanson Bourne, an independent specialist in market research, conducted the study.


About Sophos

More than 100 million users in 150 countries rely on Sophos’ complete security solutions as the best protection against complex threats and data loss. Simple to deploy, manage, and use, Sophos’ award-winning encryption, endpoint security, web, email, mobile and network security solutions are backed by SophosLabs – a global network of threat intelligence centers.

Sophos is headquartered in Oxford, UK. More information is available at



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