UK firms fear their data is not safe from cyber attacks

Companies also admit their perimeter security won't fend off hackers

UK companies fear their data will not be safe in the event of a data breach, according to a survey.

Two-thirds of firms said perimeter security systems deployed in their organisations were effective, but 69 per cent were not confident that data would be safe if systems were breached, Gemalto's study of 1,100 IT decision makers worldwide found.

In the UK, 97 per cent of UK companies admitted their perimeter security systems are ineffective at keeping unauthorised users out of their network and only seven per cent of UK respondents were extremely confident their organisation's data would be secure if their perimeter was breached.

Around 66 per cent believed hackers can access their network and nearly two in five said criminals could access their entire network.

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"This research shows that there is indeed a big divide between perception and reality when it comes to the effectiveness of perimeter security," said Jason Hart, vice president and chief technology officer for data protection at Gemalto.

"The days of breach prevention are over, yet many IT organisations continue to rely on perimeter security as the foundation of their security strategies. The new reality is that IT professionals need to shift their mindset from breach prevention to breach acceptance and focus more on securing the breach by protecting the data itself and the users accessing the data."

According to the research, 78 per cent of respondents said they had adjusted their strategies as a result of high-profile data breaches, up from 71 per cent in 2015 and up 53 per cent in 2014. More than four in five respondents increased spending on perimeter security and 85 per cent believe that their current investments are going to the right security technologies.

"While companies are confident in the amount of spending and where they are spending it, it's clear the security protocols they are employing are not living up to expectations," said Hart.

"While protecting the perimeter is important, organisations need to come to the realisation that they need a layered approach to security in the event the perimeter is breached. By employing tools such as end-to-end encryption and two-factor authentication across the network and the cloud, they can protect the whole organisation and, most importantly, the data."

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