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3 Ways Organizations Lose Control of Their Information

6 Apr, 2015 By: Mr. Chris Strammiello, Nuance Communications

The loss or misuse of sensitive documents through a security breach can have a massive negative impact on any business. It can also generate significant financial and legal effects along with harmful implications for an organization’s reputation among investors, business partners and customers. And, as can be seen from stories in the news, some companies may never recover from a major data breach.

Gaining control over documents is also essential for effective compliance processes. There are over 20,000 compliance requirements worldwide. If an organization isn’t directly affected by compliance, it still needs to think about suppliers and partners; they most likely are and may pass down the request directly to you. According to Enterprise Strategy Group there are currently 10,000 regulations impacting data management. And while an organization needs a near-flawless information strategy to keep pace with compliance requirements, 31 percent of respondents in an AIIM survey reported that poor electronic records-keeping was causing problems with regulators and auditors.

These challenges create opportunities for channel companies to address with solutions. As you engage with prospects, let’s look at three potential threats that may be impacting their organization’s ability to gain control over information that present opportunity for your firm.

Customer’s Staff

Too often, the work habits of employees – even conscientious staff – can put your enterprise at risk. A survey done by digital security firm Globalscape revealed nearly two-thirds of all security breaches can be attributed to negligence, human error or system glitches. One big driver of this situation, according to Globalscape, is millions of employees are actively using widely available tools, like personal email, social media and file sharing sites, to move confidential work files every day. The survey showed that nearly half of all employees transferred work files through unsecured channels several times a week, effectively yielding control of corporate assets to external forces.

Another critical issue is, as found in a survey report conducted by the Ponemon Institute on behalf of Varonis Systems, 71 percent of employees said they have access to data they should not see, and more than half said that this access is frequent or very frequent. According to Dr. Larry Ponemon, Chairman and Founder of The Ponemon Institute, “This research surfaces an important factor that is often overlooked: employees commonly have too much access to data, beyond what they need to do their jobs, and when that access is not tracked or audited, an attack that gains access to employee accounts can have devastating consequences.”

Customer’s Network

An astonishing 43 percent of companies experienced a data breach in the past year, reported the annual study on data breach preparedness by the Ponemon Institute in late 2104. And cybercrime is a growth industry with McAfee estimating the annual cost to the global economy to be more than $400 billion.

In assessing cybersecurity risks for 2015, industry experts see new attack vectors in old, widely-used code as the top threat. Bugs, such as Heartbleed/OpenSSL and Shellshock/Bash, may produce new attack vectors. And from a platform perspective, the experts see Apple’s market success and growing enterprise presence as creating an inviting target for hackers.

Customer’s Print Environment

While many organizations are aware of threats related to computer networks, they may not know about potential dangers related to their multifunctional printers (MFPs) and other print devices – two key components of their document infrastructure. According to InfoTrends, there are about 30 million MFP and other printer devices in offices and homes throughout the U.S. and Western Europe with most connected to a network.

A survey by market researcher Quocirca found organizations place a low priority on print security, despite the fact that over 70 percent saying they experienced at least one data breach through unsecured printing in the past year. MFPs are typically devices shared in an office with multiple users – meaning a security risk can potentially impact many in an organization. Enterprises also face the threat that private information may get into the wrong hands when printed documents go unclaimed at the MFP.

Time Take Steps to Gain Control

Addressing potential information management risks among an organization’s staff, network and print environment will enable the company to increase document security, improve compliance and boost business efficiency. You must make it your priority to understand your customers’ business landscape so that you can properly advise them how to gain control of their information.

Chris Strammiello is Vice President of Global Alliances & Strategic Marketing for the Document Imaging division at Nuance Communications. He has been involved in the high-tech industry for close to 20 years, working to advance emerging technologies in business, and is frequently called upon by industry analyst organizations to share his insights. Visit http://www.nuance.com for company information.

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