Compliance Management, Network Security, Privacy

Study shows ignorance of and critical need to secure important documents

New research from the Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network says there is a widespread and increasing need to improve security practices surrounding confidential documents in most organisations today.

Businesses owners, CEOs, executives and knowledge workers from over 200 companies worldwide participated in the survey.

Ninety-five percent expressed concerns about the security of documents in their organisation. Three quarters of respondents said their organisations create confidential documents on at least a weekly basis.

Still, 60 percent of managers and information workers say sensitive documents have accidentally been sent to the wrong person.

Less than one third said their company has security solutions that are being effectively used in protecting document security  and only 16 percent of respondents say their organisation is “very effective” in stopping the loss or accidental distribution of confidential digital documents. Forty-three percent reported that their company doesn't have widely understood policies for document security of which they are aware.

“Most companies are clearly not doing enough when it comes to protecting the security of high-value information contained in documents. Our study indicates that a wide range of information that could compromise businesses is vulnerable to inadvertent leaks, as well as intentional theft. Organisations need to do more to set explicit document security policies and educate employees on available tools and best practices in securing the confidential information they handle,” said Dave Murray, head of thought leadership for the BPI Network.

The biggest area of perceived risk was identified by 61 percent as accidentally sending a confidential document to the wrong party followed by cyber breaches of critical documents (37 percent), intentional leaks by employees (33 percent), and sensitive documents shared without permission by outside partners (31 percent).

Eighty-nine percent of respondents said a cloud solution that can remotely track, recall and control digital documents after they have been distributed would be helpful in securing documents from unwanted exposure.

“This study underscores a critical need for new document security solutions that address the challenges of a connected world. To date, the internet and other digital and mobile technologies have tended to create new vulnerabilities for document security. It's time we update the digital document itself in ways that make it more controllable and secure,” said Frank Kettenstock, vice president of marketing at Foxit Software.

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