"Business partners and vendors can be a weak link in the security of sensitive business information," said Diane Hagglund, principal researcher at Dimensional Research. "SMB IT teams often have a level of confidence in their partners' security that hasn't been fully vetted."
Key study findings include:
61% of respondents said they share customer data with partners or vendors, 44% share financial data and 37% share legal information
80% say their organization is more effective at securing sensitive customer and business information than their business partners
Only 47% of respondents said they always ask business partners for details about their security processes before sharing confidential information
74% of respondents are confident or very confident that their business partners adequately protect their companies sensitive business information
"This study had some good news and some bad news," said Andrew Storms, director of security operations for nCircle. "It's encouraging that half of small businesses ask their business partners about security because it means more businesses are aware of the importance of their security. It's discouraging that 80% of participants believe their security is better than their business partners', but they continue to share customer data with them. Let's hope that greater security awareness means more detailed, actionable security requirements for partners are in the works. Better business partner security is everyone's responsibility."
The study is illustrated in nCircle's "Business Partner (In)Security" infographic. Interested parties have permission to embed and share the infographic on their websites or blogs with attribution.
For more information about the study, please visit: http://www.ncircle.com/index.php?s=resources_surveys_Business-Partner-Survey-2012
nCircle is the leading provider of information risk and security performance management solutions to more than 6,500 businesses and government agencies worldwide. nCircle solutions enable enterprises of all sizes to (1) automate compliance and reduce risk, and (2) measure and compare the performance of their IT security program with their own goals and industry peers. nCircle solutions may be deployed on a customer's premises, as a cloud-based service, or in combination, for maximum flexibility and value.
nCircle has won numerous awards for growth, innovation, customer satisfaction and technology leadership and has been ranked among the top 100 best places to work in the San Francisco Bay Area. nCircle is headquartered in San Francisco, CA, with regional offices throughout the United States and in London and Toronto. To learn how you can more effectively protect your company visit us at http://www.ncircle.com.