Data Governance and Security are top priorities for 2024

Immuta, a player in data security, has announced its fourth annual State of Data Security Report. The 2024 survey, conducted in collaboration with UserEvidence, involved 700 data platform and security practitioners from cloud-based enterprises across the UK, US, Canada, and Australia.

The focus of the report is the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and generative AI tools in data security.

Key findings indicate that while AI tools are widely adopted in organisations, there are concerns about how AI will impact broader data security strategies. Only half of the respondents believe their organisation's data security strategy is evolving at the same pace as AI. Despite AI's recent boom, data teams in 2024 are prioritising the strengthening of data governance and security controls over AI integration.

Matt Carroll, CEO of Immuta, commented on the importance of balancing data protection with flexibility in AI integration: "With the rapid onset of AI solutions and ongoing push to migrate data to the cloud, data leaders are now grappling with how to prioritise data security, agility, and visibility. They need solutions that provide both proper data protection and the flexibility to use data to drive value. Without the foundation of a strong data architecture and data security strategy in place, it will be impossible for organisations to safely integrate AI into their processes. Business leaders must design AI-specific security strategies that include the right protocols and policies to protect data."

The report also highlights several key insights:

  • The rapid evolution of AI and machine learning (ML) has spurred both excitement and concern. 88% of data professionals report their employees are using AI, with many believing AI will aid in tasks like anomaly detection and phishing attack identification.
  • More than half of respondents (56%) cite the exposure of sensitive data via an AI prompt as their greatest area of concern, reinforcing the need for AI-specific security strategies.
  • Data governance and compliance remain key priorities, with nearly all (88%) data leaders anticipating data security as a higher priority in the next 12 months. 80% feel their data protection capabilities have improved over the past year.
  • The report finds no clear owner of data security across organisations, with roles like Data Privacy or Security Manager (19%) and Chief Technology Officer (15%) most commonly accountable.
  • Data access remains a major security challenge, with 33% citing a lack of visibility into data sharing and usage as a significant hurdle, and 56% noting that data security processes slow down access to data.

This report underscores the evolving landscape of data security in the AI era, highlighting the need for organisations to adapt their strategies to manage new challenges effectively.