Implement a Proactive Strategy for Data Security

Hardly a week goes by without headlines about a breach of customer data. Less frequent, but just as alarming, are the publicly reported examples and allegations of intellectual property theft. Data security and privacy — and, by extension, brand reputation — are front and center today and will quickly become a business differentiator for tomorrow. The question remains: How will organizations respond?

IBM commissioned Forrester Research to evaluate data security decision-making by security buyers and influencers. Much of the research focused on what it means to engage in proactive data security and privacy efforts to address threats both today and in the future. This study began in May 2014 and was completed in June 2014. Forrester developed a hypothesis testing the assertion that enterprises today have many more stakeholders involved in data control, data governance, security and privacy. However, despite this involvement, organizations approach data security in a very reactive fashion and often do not have a clear understanding of the value of their data.

As part of the study, Forrester conducted surveys with 200 security decision-makers in the U.S., U.K. and Germany and had five in-depth follow-up phone interviews for additional context. The final report found that while these companies’ data security efforts are primarily driven by compliance and are tactical in nature, security teams have the attention of executives who are increasingly aware of and concerned about data security. These decision-makers also place a high priority on helping securely enable big data and data quality initiatives, both of which have implications for revenue growth and customer experience.

Forrester’s study yielded five key findings.


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