2009 Public Sector Survey shows big shift in attitude towards data security

UK’s encryption and data security specialist BeCrypt has announced that data security awareness has shown a marked increase in the Public Sector since a year ago. Results from a recent survey conducted by BeCrypt show that 50% of councils are using data security solutions and have policies in place for dealing with sensitive information, against the previous 10% recorded in the last survey published in October 2007.

However, there are still 50% of Local Authorities that do not have specific polices in place for protecting sensitive information. The survey findings also show that nearly 90% councils are on track for joining the new Government Connect Secure Extranet GCSx by 31st March 2009.

The survey was carried out amongst IT department professionals in both large and small councils, London Boroughs and police authorities. The survey questioned how the organisations are approaching the new requirement to join GCSx and how they are safeguarding data with the provision of more flexible working for staff and extending services to citizens.

Flexible working is hoped to assist councils provide improved work/life balance for staff. The survey findings also highlighted that many councils have put in procedures to manage the use of USB devices – with 57% of councils (an increase of nearly 20%) now having a port control solution in place and over 80% of police authorities. Many also report fewer instances of data loss over the last twelve months compared with the previous year.

Bernard Parsons, CEO at BeCrypt said:

The survey results shows real change in the way that data security is considered and managed. Our findings demonstrate that while there has been a marked improvement in the number of Local Authorities implementing data security policies, for many of them there is still much to be done. Changes in policy over the last 12 months have had a very real affect on attitudes and thinking across Local Authorities and Police Forces, and we expect this to continue.

At BeCrypt we understand the delicate balancing act between Security and Usability. Working closely with government, we have developed encryption and data security products that provide manageable solutions to protect sensitive data, while still enabling it to be accessed and used with no impact on productivity.

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