Businesses used to need just a firewall to protect sensitive data. But, in a world of cloud and bring-your-own-device (BYOD), a firewall is the just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to security.

Here’s 10 astonishing data trends that highlight the need for a new approach to information protection.

1: Cyberattacks compromised 4 billion records in 2016.

This is an increase of 566% from the previous year. Criminals use cyberattacks because it’s easy and quick compared to other methods. They want to make money, and if they can do that more easily, they are going to do it.

2: 85% of enterprise organisations keep sensitive information in the cloud.

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Cloud storage has become commonplace throughout society, both in and outside of the workplace. It’s easy to see why, as we’re able to collaborate more effectively with virtual teams and, ultimately, work smarter, wherever we are.

3: 46% of UK businesses have a bring-your-own-device policy.

Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2017, Page 8
The cloud enables employees to work using their own devices. This puts your business at risk because personal devices may not be as secure as company-owned ones. Employees may not take security as seriously as they should. They may go on websites which are not secure, or not follow best practices as it’s inconvenient. To counter this, businesses must re-evaluate their security to focus on individual users.

4: 58% of senior management have accidentally sent sensitive information to the wrong person

It’s not always cyberattacks causing data leaks. Human error can be just as damaging to your business. To counter this, a business would need strong user access controls.

5: 46% of people in the UK tend to agree that their personal information is not secure online.

European Commission, Page T44
These days, the public are less trusting of businesses holding their data. A lot of customer trust and reputational benefits come with having effective security.

6: Only 37% of UK businesses have policies for encrypting personal data.

Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2017, Page 34
Encryption is a powerful tool for the prevention of data leaks. With encryption, even if a device is missing (due to loss or theft), your information is safe. Today, businesses need this capability.

7: 80% of UK businesses experienced down-time due to cybersecurity incidents last year.

Most businesses experienced down-time due to cyberattacks last year. If you don’t want to be part of that number this year, perhaps a rethink is in order.

8: It can take more than 99 days to discover a cybersecurity breach.

If a hacker gains access to your environment for three months, there’s no telling how much damage they could do. Regardless of the protection a business may have, they need to be able to discover and act against a breach quickly.

9: Only 12% of organisations are confident they can detect and prevent data loss.

Despite the prevalence of attacks and number of businesses experiencing down-time, the majority are lagging behind in information protection and security.

10: 58% of UK businesses have sought information, advice or guidance on cyber security threats in the last 12 months.

Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2017, Page 9
This is encouraging. The first step in finding out how to protect your business is to seek advice on cybersecurity.

A modern defence to a modern threat

If these statistics prove anything, it’s that businesses need something more when it comes to information protection. Cybercriminals are becoming more creative with their tactics, your business needs to keep up with them by having a strong and effective approach to security.

Azure Information Protection allows your business to have complete control over your data. It gives you the ability to find and protect all of your information, with detailed real-time monitoring. No matter what information you hold, with Microsoft, it will be safe and secure.