SMB document security policies show room for improvement

A new study has found that businesses, particularly small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), have significant room for improvement when it comes to data protection and document security.

The study, conducted by Ipsos Reid, included more than 1,000 Canadian small business owners and 100 executives from larger companies. The results suggest that small business owners may underestimate the potential damage of a data breach, as 61 percent indicated they do not believe their organization would be seriously impacted by such an event.

"A data breach can happen anywhere, anytime," said Mike Skidmore, privacy and security officer at a leading data security company. "Relaxed protocols or not having the right resources in place can detract from the culture of security that organizations want to cultivate in order to protect themselves and their clients from fraud."

Perhaps most distressingly, the report found that the percentage of small businesses that lack any protocol for storing or destroying data increased from 38 percent in 2011 to 42 percent in 2012.

Industry experts widely agree that businesses of all sizes should implement thorough document protection strategies to protect their intellectual property and their clients' privacy. These strategies can include the creation of a firewall, PDF protection and educating employees to follow best practices for data security.

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