Europe: 2023 Sensitive Content Communications Privacy and Compliance
Regional Findings and Takeaways
Communication Tools in Use
Less than 4
Average Annual Budget for Communication Tools
$350,000 – $499,999
$250,000 – $349,999
$150,000 – $249,999
$100,000 – $149,999
Number of Third Parties With Which They Exchange Sensitive Content
2,500 – 4,999
1,000 – 2,499
500 – 999
Less than 499
Attack Vector Weighted Score (based on ranking)
Denial of Service
Zero-day Exploits and Attacks
Malware (ransomware, trojans, etc.)
Man in the Middle
Exploits of Sensitive Content Communications in Past Year
7 – 9
4 – 6
2 – 3
Level of Satisfaction With 3rd-party Communication Risk Management
Requires a New Approach
Significant Improvement Needed
Some Improvement Needed
Minor Improvement Needed
Surge of Cyberattacks in Europe
Europe is grappling with an alarming surge in cyberattacks, highlighting the pressing need for enhanced security measures. Check Point Research’s 2022 Cyber Security Report found Europe experienced a 26% increase in cyberattacks over the previous year.1 The United Kingdom, Italy, and Germany emerged as the primary targets, while the manufacturing sector (25%) and finance and insurance industry (18%) bore the brunt of these malicious activities.2 Ransomware attacks (26%) and unauthorized server access (12%) stood out as the most prevalent attack types during this period. With confidential data at stake, European organizations must prioritize privacy and compliance to combat these mounting cyber threats effectively.
Disaggregated Sensitive Content Communication Tools
European organizations face a growing challenge in safeguarding their sensitive content communications due to the use of multiple and scattered tools. Kiteworks’ 2023 Sensitive Content Communications Privacy and Compliance Report reveals that 84.5% of European respondents rely on five or more communication tools for sending and sharing sensitive content. The disaggregated tools issue significantly complicates data security, making European organizations vulnerable to cyber threats as well as regulatory compliance challenges. The “tool soup”also results in substantial capital expenditure, with one-third of European organizations investing $350,000 or more annually—and this does not include the related OpEx costs to manage all the toolsets.
84.5% of European organizations use five or more communication tools.
Third-party Content Communication Risk in Europe
Disaggregation of file and email communication tools makes it difficult to create governance tracking and controls. The communication channel cited most often by respondents as having the highest risk was email (ranked 1, 2, or 3 by 51% of respondents), followed by application programming interfaces (APIs) and web forms (both ranked 1, 2, or 3 by 45% of respondents).
Given the substantial volume of file and email data communications with third parties, heightened governance tracking and controls are imperative. The report underscores a unanimous sentiment among organizations that improvement is needed, with 81% recognizing the need to enhance their approach to mitigating third-party content communication risks. Of this group, 15% call for a new approach, while 66% emphasize the need for some or significant improvement.
Their concerns are well-founded. 82% experienced four or more sensitive content communication exploits in the past year. Although lower than North America at 96%, this statistic exceeds that of the Asia Pacific region (at 80%).
81% of European organizations believe they need to improve their approach to mitigating the risks associated with third-party content communication.
The Need for Digital Risk Management
European organizations are grappling with the adoption of digital risk management practices, according to survey responses. For example, only 24% track and record third-party access to sensitive files and folders across all departments today. Another 35% track such only for certain departments, while 27% track only for specific content types.
When it comes to digital rights management priorities, European organizations consider protecting content in motion from malicious threats as their top priority (29% ranked it one or two), which was followed by fulfilling eDiscovery requests by demonstrating full audit logging quickly and easily (27% ranked this either number one or two).
Kiteworks Private Content Network for European Organizations
Kiteworks Private Content Network enables European governmental agencies and public sector businesses to protect their sensitive content communications while enabling them to demonstrate compliance with regional and international regulations. With Kiteworks, European organizations can centrally manage file and email data policies using comprehensive access controls. For those concerned about data sovereignty requirements, Kiteworks can be configured to store data in specific geographic locations, allowing European organizations to comply with data residency requirements found in GDPR and other regulations. Audit logging details all user activities, including file access, file shares, and file transfers, enabling European organizations to demonstrate compliance with data privacy regulations like GDPR, PCI DSS, and others.
1 “2022 Cyber Security Report,” Check Point Research, January 2023.
2 “The IBM Security X-Force Threat Intelligence Index,” IBM, February 2023.