nCipher Security has announced that emerging technologies such as the internet of things (IoT) and Docker containers are being deployed at a growing rate throughout the Middle East, as is the use of the cloud. As the use of these technologies grows, so do the potential security risks associated with them and consequently, organizations in the Middle East are increasingly adopting encryption to protect data from internal and external threats. These are some of the findings from the 2019 Middle East Encryption Trends Study from the Ponemon Institute.
The study, as well as nCipher’s advanced application and information security solutions, will be showcased at GISEC, the largest cybersecurity exhibition and conference in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, being held at the Dubai World Trade Centre from April 1 to 3.
The use of cloud and emerging technologies such as IoT and Docker create new security risks, compelling organizations worldwide to focus on data protection solutions. This year, 36% of respondents in the Middle East report their organization has an overall encryption strategy applied consistently across the entire enterprise, a number that has risen during the past three years. The use of hardware security modules (HSMs) to protect and manage encryption keys has increased from 28% to 50% over the past year – the largest jump of any region surveyed.
The vast majority of organizations in the Middle East (84%) currently use cloud computing services or plan to do so in the next 12-24 months. Forty percent of respondents (compared with 32% globally) are leveraging HSMs for public cloud encryption and 76% rate support for both cloud and on-premises deployment as the most important feature associated with encryption solutions, indicating the region’s increasing focus on cloud security. The use of encryption in the Middle East has grown faster than any other region for two notable emerging use cases: Docker containers (37%) and IoT devices (31%).
With the explosion and proliferation of data that comes from digital initiatives, mobility, and cloud use, data discovery is the number one challenge in planning and executing a data encryption strategy. The Middle East rates training users to use encryption appropriately as a challenge more than all other regions (27% versus the global average of 13%).
Other key findings
- The main driver for encryption in the region is to protect intellectual property (highest among all regions at 74%) and to protect customer personal information (at 66%, the second highest of all regions covered).
- When managing specific types of keys, the Middle East finds end user encryption keys to be the most painful, followed by SSH keys.
- Employee mistakes continue to be the most significant threat to sensitive data in the Middle East (67%), higher than the global average of 54%. The second highest threat came from temporary or contract workers at 33%.
Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute, says, “Enterprises are increasingly turning to cloud environments to help them save time and money. While these technologies are digitally transforming businesses, there are potential security risks associated with them. The use of encryption both in the Middle East and globally is at an all-time high, driven by the need to protect intellectual property and sensitive information from both internal and external threats as well as accidental disclosure. Encryption usage is a clear indicator of a strong security posture. Organizations that deploy encryption are more aware of threats to sensitive and confidential information and making a greater investment in IT security.”
Philip Schreiber, regional sales director Middle East, Africa and South East Asia at nCipher Security, says, “Organizations across the Middle East region are under relentless pressure to protect their business-critical information and applications, but the proliferation of data, concerns around data discovery and policy enforcement, together with a shortage of cybersecurity professionals makes this a challenging environment. nCipher empowers customers by providing a high assurance security foundation that ensures the integrity and trustworthiness of their data, applications and intellectual property.”