Endpoint

3/14/2017
11:40 AM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

60% of Businesses Mistakenly Sent out Sensitive Documents

Some 43% of organizations say they lack widely understood policies for securing internal documents.

First it was Edward Snowden's infamous leak of sensitive NSA files and now WikiLeaks leaking alleged stolen documents from the CIA: document security once again is front and center for organizations.

A new study of more than 200 business owners, CEOs, executives, and knowledge workers by the Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network found that while most are concerned about cyberattack-borne breaches of critical documents, the top concern by far is an employee accidentally sending out confidential information.

According to the study, 61% worry about an employee sending out confidential information to a wrong party, while 41% are concerned about breaches of critical documents. And most telling, six in 10 say either they or someone they've worked with have mistakenly sent out documents that they shouldn't have.

Some 43% also report that their company does not have widely understood policies for document security. This has grown in importance as confidential information has been embedded in documents with significant frequency. Close to 75% of respondents say they or their staff produce documents containing sensitive information on a least a weekly basis, and more than 33% do so daily.

"Clearly, document security is a very big unmet challenge," says Dave Murray, director of thought leadership for the BPI Network. "Companies must do a better job educating their employees and integrating tools such as connected documents or 'Smart PDFs' that let users encrypt and recall a document."

Frank Dickson, a research director at IDC, notes that even if the breach is not from a malicious source, it is not necessarily less damaging.

"An accidental breach is still a breach and can be as big as anything else," Dickson says. "Especially when you’re talking about the ability of employees to make mistakes."

Other hot button worries: sensitive documents shared by outside partners without permission (34%); documents purposely leaked to outsiders by employees (33%); former employees leaving with documents on their own personal devices (26%); and improperly altered documents put into circulation (22%).

In terms of repercussions from stolen or breached documents, responses ranged from reputational damage (53%) to lawsuits (41%) and lost time and productivity seeking to fix the problem (40%). Another 39% cited competitive risks and 34% are concerned that such an incident could cost them their jobs. Only 21% they are concerned about revenue loss.

The BPI Network report was commissioned by Foxit Software, a maker of secure PDF software. 

Related Content:

Steve Zurier has more than 30 years of journalism and publishing experience, most of the last 24 of which were spent covering networking and security technology. Steve is based in Columbia, Md. View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
JulietteRizkallah
50%
50%
JulietteRizkallah,
User Rank: Ninja
3/15/2017 | 2:52:42 PM
Yet a new study with old findings
There is nothing new in the findings of this study.  Or maybe what is new is that we are not getting better at educating employees on how to deal with sensitive data and stopping insiders from leaking it, while we produce more and more of it in all shape or form - held in structured systems and apps or unstructured emails, files and file share apps-. 
Microsoft President: Governments Must Cooperate on Cybersecurity
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  11/8/2018
5 Reasons Why Threat Intelligence Doesn't Work
Jonathan Zhang, CEO/Founder of WhoisXML API and TIP,  11/7/2018
Why the CISSP Remains Relevant to Cybersecurity After 28 Years
Steven Paul Romero, SANS Instructor and Sr. SCADA Network Engineer, Chevron,  11/6/2018
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Online Malware and Threats: A Profile of Today's Security Posture
Online Malware and Threats: A Profile of Today's Security Posture
This report offers insight on how security professionals plan to invest in cybersecurity, and how they are prioritizing their resources. Find out what your peers have planned today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2018-19205
PUBLISHED: 2018-11-12
Roundcube before 1.3.7 mishandles GnuPG MDC integrity-protection warnings, which makes it easier for attackers to obtain sensitive information, a related issue to CVE-2017-17688. This is associated with plugins/enigma/lib/enigma_driver_gnupg.php.
CVE-2018-19206
PUBLISHED: 2018-11-12
steps/mail/func.inc in Roundcube before 1.3.8 has XSS via crafted use of <svg><style>, as demonstrated by an onload attribute in a BODY element, within an HTML attachment.
CVE-2018-19207
PUBLISHED: 2018-11-12
The Van Ons WP GDPR Compliance (aka wp-gdpr-compliance) plugin before 1.4.3 for WordPress allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code because $wpdb->prepare() input is mishandled, as exploited in the wild in November 2018.
CVE-2018-1786
PUBLISHED: 2018-11-12
IBM Spectrum Protect 7.1 and 8.1 dsmc and dsmcad processes incorrectly accumulate TCP/IP sockets in a CLOSE_WAIT state. This can cause TCP/IP resource leakage and may result in a denial of service. IBM X-Force ID: 148871.
CVE-2018-1798
PUBLISHED: 2018-11-12
IBM WebSphere Application Server 7.0, 8.0, 8.5, and 9.0 is vulnerable to cross-site scripting. This vulnerability allows users to embed arbitrary JavaScript code in the Web UI thus altering the intended functionality potentially leading to credentials disclosure within a trusted session. IBM X-Force...