The leakage of confidential data – whether by accident or malicious design – can have serious consequences for any company, and in the worst cases might even cause a business to collapse, but most companies are not doing anything to safeguard their data.

The results of a survey conducted by the IDC marketing agency in December 2012 show that many companies recognise the gravity of the problem – 41% of companies are genuinely concerned about possible data leaks and have made prevention a primary objective. According to IDC, encryption – one of the most effective and reliable data protection tools – is becoming more and more popular.

Generally encryption technologies fall into two camps – file and folder level encryption (FLE) or full disk encryption (FDE). FLE protects specific files and folders so it’s better suited for encrypting small amounts of sensitive information.
FDE, by contrast, encrypts the entire hard drive and is perfect for protecting, for example, corporate laptops in the event of them being lost or stolen. Since FLE and FDE solve different problems, most organisations prefer to use both technologies.

According to the IDC specialists, there are four main reasons to implement encryption technologies:

* To limit access to confidential information and to protect against unauthorised access;

* To protect sensitive files against malware and other increasingly prevalent cyber-threats;

* To help secure data against attacks that successfully penetrate the corporate network – attacks on corporate infrastructure and attempts at data theft are becoming ever more sophisticated; and

* To complement a company’s risk management process; data protection plays an increasingly important role as a key element here.

Currently, encryption-related expenditure is not a priority item in most IT department budgets. However, IDC analysts are sure encryption will soon become one of the most in-demand technologies.

According to IDC, the market for workstation encryption will grow by more than 50% in the next few years – from $556-million in 2012 to $866-million in 2016.
In 2013, the cost of data protection will exceed $2-billion for the first time, while in 2016 it will reach more than $3-billion.