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2014 Study Shows Canadian Businesses Continue to Be Complacent about Information Security
|By Business Wire
|July 8, 2014 08:09 AM EDT
A new study looking at the information security habits of Canadian
c-suite executives and small business owners reveals that business
leaders are becoming increasingly complacent. While Canadians are more
aware of information security risks than ever before, Shred-it’s 4th
Annual Security Tracker shows business leaders have taken little to no
action to decrease risk of reputational damage or disruption to their
According to the study conducted by Ipsos Reid, small business owners
are more aware today than they were in 2013 of the legal requirements
concerning confidential data in their industry. Yet, for the second year
in a row, only 46 per cent acknowledge having a protocol for storing and
disposing of confidential data that is strictly adhered to by all
employees, and 31 per cent admit to having no protocol in place
whatsoever. Further, only 12 per cent of those surveyed admit to having
both a locked container and a professional shredding service.
C-suite respondents share similar views to small business owners as it
relates to information security. Only 42 per cent of c-suite executives
admit to having a protocol in place for storing and disposing of
confidential data that is strictly adhered to by all employees, and only
half concede to having a locked container and a professional shredding
service. The study also found that 10 per cent of c-suite respondents
admit to throwing out sensitive documents without shredding them, a
number which has risen significantly since last year.
“Organizations need to do more to ensure the safety of their
confidential physical documents and digital data. Prioritizing
information security by implementing policies and protocols that address
all types of confidential information will decrease business risk,” said
Bruce Andrew, Executive Vice President at Shred-it. “When you factor in
the cost of recouping damages from a security breach, not to mention the
reputational damage they can cause, it is increasingly necessary that
business leaders educate themselves and action on best practices in
The security tracker also revealed that 63 per cent of small business
owners have no cyber security policy in place for destroying digital
assets, and almost half of small business owners surveyed have never
disposed of hardware containing confidential information. When compared
to the 33 per cent of c-suite executives who acknowledged having no
cyber-security policy in place, it is clear there is plenty of room for
Canadian organizations are not alone in their battle to protect
information and safeguard against digital data breaches. The Privacy
Commissioner and Industry Canada have implemented legislation to govern
how the private sector collects, uses and discloses personal
information. That said, when grading the government’s response to
information security, only 55 per cent of c-suite executives give the
Canadian government a passing mark, suggesting the other half of
respondents would like to see improvements.
“At Shred-it we assist businesses and federal government agencies in
meeting compliance requirements brought forth by the Privacy
Commissioner. We believe the government has done an excellent job
focusing on the safety and security of individuals as part of its
national security agenda,” says Andrew. “The secure destruction of
confidential information is our top priority and we will continue to
advocate for compliance education in Canada.”
Shred-it offers the following suggestions to help business leaders
protect confidential information and begin establishing a culture of
Demonstrate a top-down commitment from management to the total
security of your business and customer information
Implement formal information security policies; train your employees
to know the policies well and follow them strictly
Eliminate potential risk by introducing a “shred-all” policy; remove
the decision-making process regarding what is and isn’t confidential
Conduct a periodic information security audit
Introduce special locked containers instead of traditional recycling
bins for disposing of confidential documents
Don’t overlook hard drives on computers or photocopiers. Erasing hard
drives does not mean data is destroyed. Physical hard drive
destruction is proven to be the only 100% secure way to destroy data
from hard drives
Shred-it is a world-leading information
security company providing information destruction services that ensure
the security and integrity of our clients' private information. The
company operates in 140 markets throughout 18 countries worldwide,
servicing more than 300,000 global, national and local businesses. For
more information, please visit www.shredit.com.
About Ipsos Reid:
Ipsos Reid is Canada's market intelligence
leader, the country's leading provider of public opinion research, and
research partner for loyalty and forecasting and modeling insights. With
operations in eight cities, Ipsos Reid employs more than 600 research
professionals and support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest
network of telephone call centres in the country, as well as the largest
pre-recruited household and online panels. Ipsos Reid's marketing
research and public affairs practices offer the premier suite of
research vehicles in Canada, all of which provide clients with
actionable and relevant information. Staffed with seasoned research
consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, Ipsos Reid
offers syndicated information or custom solutions across key sectors of
the Canadian economy, including consumer packaged goods, financial
services, automotive, retail, and technology & telecommunications. Ipsos
Reid is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research
group. To learn more, visit www.ipsos.ca.
About the 2014 Security Tracker:
Ipsos Reid conducted a quantitative online survey of two distinct sample
groups: small business owners in Canada (n=1,006), and C-suite
executives working for businesses in Canada with a minimum of 100
employees (n=100). This survey is considered accurate to within 3.5
percentage points had all small business owners been surveyed and to
within 11.2 percentage points had all C-suites been surveyed. The
fieldwork was conducted between April 28 and May 5, 2014.
Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/multimedia/home/20140708005301/en/
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