Automated Data Intelligence and Risk Assessment Tools Vital to Protecting Sensitive Data Says Independent IT Survey

Redwood City, Calif., June 8, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Informatica Corporation (Nasdaq:INFA), the world's number one independent provider of data integration software, today announced the availability of the 2015 State of Data Security Intelligence study, an extensive global research report issued annually by the Ponemon Institute LLC. Based on a global survey of nearly 1,700 IT and IT security professionals, the study reveals how organizations are using data security intelligence to assess and minimize risks to their sensitive and confidential information on premise and in the cloud.

According to the 2015 study:

  • Not knowing where sensitive or confidential data resides is an increasing concern of IT practitioners worldwide, with the inability to understand the extent of data risk endemic in most organizations (80 percent).
  • Sensitive and confidential data is considered more at risk in the cloud, yet only a third of survey respondents possess an automated solution for discovering and monitoring their sensitive cloud-based data.
  • Top data security solutions in place today include data classification, monitoring and discovery tools, with respondents believing that compliance and security can be improved through intelligent solutions, such as automated user access history with real-time monitoring (75 percent), policy workflow automation (74 percent) and automated data discovery/risk assessment (68 percent).

Survey Discussions

Informatica senior executives Amit Walia and Gary Patterson will highlight the implications of the Ponemon findings at the Gartner Security and Risk Management Summit, June 8-11, in National Harbor, MD, along with how a data-centric security approach provides the necessary next line of defense for today's cloud-, big data- and mobility-enabled business environments:

  • Monday, June 8 - "Secure@Source," 5:45 PM, Theater B
  • Tuesday, June 9 - "Data Security Intelligence in Action," 4:15 PM, Maryland A

Key Survey Findings

  • Data Security Concerns are Escalating - As sensitive and confidential data proliferates everywhere, IT professionals are increasingly losing sleep. According to the Informatica-sponsored Ponemon survey, 64 percent of respondents say that not knowing where sensitive data resides is their biggest worry, up from 57 percent in Ponemon's 2014 survey. Fifty-five percent say that they worry about temporary worker or contractor mistakes, up from 50 percent in 2014. Additionally, 48 percent stress over third party's or outsourcer's management of data (including cloud), up from 42 percent.
  • The Cloud is a Culprit, but Lags in Protection Investment and Confidence - On average, 34 percent of an organization's sensitive data in the cloud is considered at risk, compared to 24 percent of sensitive data kept on premise. Nonetheless, organizations are investing less in protecting their cloud data with automated solutions: 62 percent of respondents have an automated solution for discovering sensitive data in databases and applications and assessing risk on premise, compared to just 33 percent for their data in the cloud. It is no surprise then that 52 percent of organizations are confident in their ability to safeguard on-premise data, versus 40 percent in regard to data in the cloud.
  • Globally, most organizations are unprepared regarding data breaches - Only 21 percent of respondents believe their organization could detect a data breach all the time (down from 26 percent in 2014), and just 32 percent say their organization is very good to excellent at detecting and containing breaches. Meanwhile, more than half (55 percent) of respondents that have had a breach in the past 12 months believe it could have been avoided if certain processes and intelligent technologies had been in place.

Consensus on the Need for Data Security Intelligence

According to the new Ponemon study, automated solutions for discovering where sensitive data has proliferated and assessing the risk are believed to increase data security effectiveness. The study reveals that "73 percent of respondents believe such a solution would improve an organization's security posture." However, in an indication of the considerable room for growth in the data security intelligence market, only 46 percent of respondents possess an automated solution for their on-premise data, and only 37 percent say they possess a similar solution for cloud data.

Industry Variations

While all respondents to the survey had data security and privacy concerns, these concerns were colored considerably by their industry. For example:

  • Public Sector and Communications organizations were the least confident in their ability to detect a breach compared to other industries. When asked whether their organization would be able to detect a data breach, 38 percent of public sector respondents answered "some of the time," while 20 percent of communications company respondents said "no."
  • Retail and Entertainment and Media were the only industries to place employee data over business intelligence data in terms of data most at risk. All industries placed customer records as number one in terms of risk exposure.
  • Insurance (39 percent) and Consumer Products (38 percent) companies weighed in with the highest percentages of data considered sensitive or confidential.
  • Public Sector (58 percent) and Entertainment and Media (51 percent) were the least confident in their ability to proactively respond to a new threat to on premise data.
  • Retail (62 percent) and Services (61 percent) organizations were the least confident when it came to proactively responding to threats in the cloud.
  • Financial Services (60 percent) and Healthcare (60 percent) organizations lose more sleep over potential temporary worker or contractor mistakes than over not knowing where sensitive data resides or sensitive data's risk.

Geography Matters

Respondents' concerns also varied by geography:

  • Germany (36 percent) and North America (36 percent) identified with having the largest amount of data in the cloud that is at risk, while the Netherlands (65 percent) identified with having the largest amount of data in the cloud that they are not able to determine its level of exposure to risk.
  • Australia ranked number one (83 percent) for having a common process for tracking individuals who have access to on-premise sensitive data, while the Netherlands ranked number one (33 percent) for having this kind of process in the cloud.
  • North America (49 percent) and the Netherlands (48 percent) were the least confident in their ability to proactively respond to a new threat on premises, while North America (62 percent) and Japan (59 percent) were least confident when it came to such a threat in the cloud.

Supporting Quotes

  • "As the gap between believing in data security intelligence solutions and actually possessing them diminishes, so inevitably will the risk of data breaches," said Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder, Ponemon Institute. "Given the growing business and societal costs of breaches, and the runaway proliferation of sensitive data, organizations need to seriously consider adopting a data-centric security stance without delay. To do otherwise may soon be construed as negligence."
  • "Security professionals can no longer do without a solution that provides visibility into where sensitive and confidential data resides, coupled with visibility into its risk," said Amit Walia, senior vice president and general manager, Data Integration and Security, Informatica. "With Secure@Source, Informatica provides the industry's only data security intelligence solution to deliver insight into where sensitive data is proliferating while presenting the data's risk profile so that designated protective action can be proactively applied."

Additional Assets

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About Ponemon Institute

Ponemon Institute is dedicated to advancing responsible information and privacy management practices in business and government. To achieve this objective, the Institute conducts independent research, educates leaders from the private and public sectors and verifies the privacy and data protection practices of organizations in a variety of industries.

About Informatica

Informatica Corporation (Nasdaq:INFA) is the world's number one independent provider of data integration software. Organizations around the world rely on Informatica to realize their information potential and drive top business imperatives. Informatica Vibe, the industry's first and only embeddable virtual data machine (VDM), powers the unique "Map Once. Deploy Anywhere." capabilities of the Informatica Platform. Worldwide, over 5,800 enterprises depend on Informatica to fully leverage their information assets from devices to mobile to social to big data residing on-premise, in the Cloud and across social networks. For more information, call +1 650-385-5000 (1-800-653-3871 in the U.S.), or visit Connect with Informatica at, and


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CONTACT: Shira Frantzich Informatica Corporation +1 650 385 5674

Source:Informatica Corporation