The annual State of the Industry report by information security company Shred-it has found that while most Canadian businesses have welcomed the concept of workplace mobility, they still have much to improve on in terms of data protection.
The report contained the results of a survey conducted by market research company Ipsos, which produced the following key findings:
- Nearly 90% of C-suite executives and half of small business owners reported that their organizations offer flexible or off-site work environments to employees; more than two-thirds believe that the trend of working remotely will increase over the next five years.
- 82% of C-suites and 63% of small business owners feel that the risk of a data breach is higher when employees work off-site.
The study also uncovered that businesses, particularly small entrepreneurships, are not adequately addressing information security risks:
- 38% of small business owners said they did not have any protocols in place when their employees use electronic devices containing confidential information.
- 46% of small business owners answered that they have no policy for storing and disposing of confidential information when employees work off-site.
- 27% of small business owners offer employee training on using public Wi-Fi, compared to 48% of C-suites.
“In an era of increasing workplace mobility and one in which a single data breach can destroy a business’s bottom line and reputation, companies have no choice but to make information security a priority,” commented Shred-it vice-president Paul Saabas.
Saabas additionally pointed out that a company that takes its cyber security seriously is a huge selling point for consumers.
“One of the smartest things a company can do to differentiate itself today is to make data security a core part of its business practices and communicate this to consumers,” he said.