On average less than 40% of companies in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) are confident they can master their data – that is manage, secure and gain insight from data, and use it responsibly. Capabilities in these four areas aren’t projected to increase in the next three years, according to a new study from cloud company, Oracle, called ‘Rediscovering trust in your data and security’. This is despite respondents recognising the value of achieving excellence in these areas, with the top three benefits being cited as increased customer loyalty, revenue and brand value.
“We know that being able to leverage data gives immense business benefit and a lead that others find hard to diminish,” said Andrew Sutherland, Senior Vice President, Technology and Systems, Oracle APAC and EMEA. “But these findings suggest that organisations are still being overwhelmed by the data deluge faced. Companies need to tackle the problem head on. This will come from better internal practices and putting data management strategies and enhanced security controls in place. Additionally, the prudent use of cloud and emerging technologies like AI and automation will also be key as we hit that tipping point where the data and security challenge is becoming just too big for humans alone.”
Collective effort needed
When it comes to looking at who is accountable for securing data, there seems to be confusion about who is meant to take the lead. For example, while nearly half of all finance and IT decision makers say they are accountable for securing data within their organisation, only a third of those who typically use data – marketing and HR – revealed they take accountability.
Mind the gap
While 53% of EMEA leaders surveyed believe that the secure management of data is very important to reputational risk, the study shows there are many key internal behaviours that compromise trust.
One-quarter say that the biggest concern around data security inside the organisation is low attention to data confidentiality, followed by weak controls on who can access data (24%), a willingness to manage data through mobile devices or social platforms (23%), and use of untrusted devices and connections (23%).
Around one fifth of respondents (22%) also say that top behaviours compromising their trust in how data is managed include: blindness on how data is supposed to be used; the misuse of critical data; and disregard for applicable data regulations.
Countering these behavioural issues, those with data management strategies in place are 8% more likely to use password protected documents, 10% more likely to have access to secure on-premises databases, and 9% more likely to use data on trusted devices.
When it comes to the key data and security priorities companies have for the year ahead and actions being taken to promote the responsible use of data, enforcing better controls and procedures, as well as training and workshops to mix people from different lines of business together ranked highly. Organisations are also turning to technologies companies for help across the spectrum of data mastery including accelerating the move to cloud for enhanced security performance (30%), turning to AI and machine learning to drive actionable insights from data (26%), and machine learning capabilities to self-patch and secure data (25%).