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German Organizations Lead Encryption Strategy Adoption for Fourth Year Running, Finds Entrust 2021 Germany Encryption Trends Study




News Room Media Inquiry

News Room Media Inquiry

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Conducted by the Ponemon Institute, the 16th annual study highlights growing use of encryption and HSMs to protect on-premise and cloud environments.

MUNICH, GERMANY — October 20, 2021 — Organizations in Germany continue to deploy encryption faster than their global counterparts to protect both on-premises and cloud environments. This and other findings are highlighted in the Entrust 2021 Germany Encryption Trends Study, part of the 16th annual multinational survey by the Ponemon Institute. The research also reveals that this growing use of encryption has led to high overall pain associated with managing encryption keys, primarily due to challenges with assigning owners and finding skilled personnel.

Identified threats and priorities
With over seven out of ten (71%) of respondents in Germany indicating that they have a consistently applied encryption strategy, 2021 marks the fourth year running that the country has topped the leaderboard of those surveyed. Furthermore, this is up from 66% last year and far above the global average of 50%.

Additionally, Germany has adopted encryption at a higher rate than the global average for nearly all use cases. The fastest growing use cases are backups and archives (71% in among German respondents vs. 51% global average) and IoT platforms (58% vs. 34% globally), both up by 9% since last year. To accomplish this, organizations in Germany use an average of 9.4 products that perform encryption, compared with the global average of 8 products, making it the highest rate worldwide.

Encryption adoption is driven by concerns about exposing sensitive data. For the second straight year, respondents identified employee mistakes as the top threat to sensitive data, although the response in Germany of 46% is lower than the global average of 53%. Other top threats include system malfunctions (41% vs. 31% globally) and a desire to comply with lawful data requests (20% vs. 12% globally).

However, this high adoption of encryption does add complexity, with nearly two-thirds (65%) of IT professionals surveyed in Germany experiencing a high rate of overall pain associated with managing keys or certificates, which is the highest region worldwide. The top challenge in key management was cited as ‘no clear ownership’ at 91% (the highest rate worldwide and significantly over the global average of 64%). Organizations also rated a lack of skilled personnel higher than the global average (64% vs. 57% globally).

The growing role of hardware security modules (HSMs) and cloud A large majority (70%) of organizations in Germany use Hardware Security Modules (HSMs), up from 56% in 2018. This marks it as the second highest rate worldwide, compared with 49% globally.

Of the organizations that use HSMs, more than two-thirds (68%) report that they are important to their encryption or key management strategy today. Additionally, 93% state they will be important in 12 months, highlighting the vital role HSMs play in key management. Furthermore, of the organizations in Germany that use HSMs, 70% have a centralized team that provides cryptography as a service to multiple applications or teams within their organization (i.e. private cloud model), vs. 61% globally.

Adoption of cloud services is growing rapidly, with German organizations using the highest number of public cloud providers worldwide, an average of 2.9 per organization vs. the global average of 2.33. Furthermore, 79% of organizations in Germany transfer sensitive data to the cloud today (up from 62% last year) while another 10% plan to do so in the next 12-24 months. When it comes to encrypting this cloud data, 60% of respondents report their strategy is to use only keys controlled by their organization, vs. the global average of 46%.

“Germany continues to lead our report in the implementation of data encryption and, more importantly, in applying a consistent encryption strategy. While this is great news for those whose data is being protected, the research shows it brings more complexity for those who need to manage that strategy and the encryption keys that are generated,” said Xavier Coemelck, EMEA regional vice president, sales and services at Entrust. “When you factor in increasing adoption of cloud based services, as well as new technology implementations like IoT, blockchain, serverless applications, and quantum computing it’s clear that these organizations increasingly need a trusted partner that can deliver a complete date protection portfolio to stay ahead of the game.”

Additional Information:
Report: 2021 Germany Encryption Trends Study

2021 Global Encryption Trends Study methodology
The 2021 Global Encryption Trends Study, based on research by the Ponemon Institute, captures how organizations around the world are dealing with compliance, increased threats, and the implementation of encryption to protect their business-critical information and applications. 6,610 IT professionals were surveyed across multiple industry sectors in 17 countries/regions: Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico, Middle East (which is a combination of respondents located in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates), Netherlands, the Russian Federation, Spain, Southeast Asia, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

About Entrust Corporation
Entrust keeps the world moving safely by enabling trusted identities, payments and data protection. Today more than ever, people demand seamless, secure experiences, whether they’re crossing borders, making a purchase, accessing e-government services or logging into corporate networks. Entrust offers an unmatched breadth of digital security and credential issuance solutions at the very heart of all these interactions. With more than 2,500 colleagues, a network of global partners, and customers in over 150 countries, it’s no wonder the world’s most entrusted organizations trust us. For more information, visit