45% of Kiwi businesses ‘unprepared’ for data breaches

45% of Kiwi businesses ‘unprepared’ for data breaches

Half of Kiwi companies lacking in cyber security confidence

Credit: HP

Almost half of businesses in New Zealand are unable to defend against data breaches, citing challenges around endpoint security, data protection and employee behaviour.

That’s according to HP research, which reports that 45 per cent of Kiwi organisations are self-rated as “not secure”, with 50 per cent of companies lacking in cyber security confidence.

In surveying 434 small to large businesses across the country, the findings highlight a nation under security stress, with the channel well placed to capitalise.

“The consequences of a data breach are severe; from financial to brand and reputation damage,” said Grant Hopkins, managing director of HP New Zealand. “Organisations need to be vigilant about implementing processes that regularly monitor, detect and report data breaches.

“Running regular risk assessments and managing your endpoint security is critical in keeping businesses data safe.”

As more Kiwis work remotely and use personal devices in the workplace, Hopkins said traditional security measures and anti-virus programs are becoming “less effective”.

Specifically, 60 per cent of local businesses “regularly allow” remote working, in addition to remote access to company data, but only 42 per cent have a security policy in place.

“Endpoint security - at the device level - is critical,” Hopkins added. “Organisations tend to rely solely on third party software security to protect their devices when, in reality, stronger and better business security must be integrated into the device itself.

“With hackers able to bypass traditional network perimeter security and anti-virus programs, it’s time we scrutinise a hardware’s security as closely, if not more, than our external security solutions.”

But while customers continue to focus efforts around PCs, tablets and other connected devices, Hopkins said businesses are neglecting “one of the largest areas of vulnerability” in the form of the printer.

According to research, Kiwi businesses have printers that are “relatively insecure” with 30 per cent not offering any security features and only 35 per cent of customers including printers in IT security assessments.

“Security threats are evolving every day,” Hopkins added. “Due to reduced effectiveness of firewall protection, every device on an organisation’s network is at risk, and unfortunately printing and imaging devices are often overlooked and left exposed.

“Protecting against security breaches is one of the biggest challenges organisations face.”

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