Few SMBs worried about document and data security risks: Konica Minolta

Printer vendor finds a lack of vigilance locally when it comes to document and data security

Three quarters of Australian SMBs are leaving themselves open to document and data security breach.

That is according to the Konica Minolta document and data security study, which found only 25 per cent of businesses are staying on top of the issue by addressing it directly with staff.

This is even after 94 per cent of companies admitted to being aware of document and data security risks.

These are results that surprise Konica Minolta national marketing manager, Stevan Caldwell, especially given that almost all businesses surveyed said they were aware of the risks associated with document and data security.

“Most employees have access to confidential information, such as sales results, customer databases, through to more highly sensitive information such as research or prototype secrets,” he said.

“If such information falls into the wrong hands it can have a devastating impact on a business and the legal ramifications can be costly.”

With these results in mind, Caldwell urges businesses to “start taking the issue seriously.”

“We found that 98 per cent of businesses thought their document and data security processes were effective in protecting their company’s IP, yet when probed we found that 60 per cent admitted they found the issue concerning,” he said.

To that end, Caldwell highlights several simple steps that businesses can take to safeguard their confidential data.

For one, document and data security can be increased though software on office printers.

“Solutions that ensure confidential information cannot be seen or printed by certain staff, or software that enables businesses to track certain files, can reduce the risk of staff stealing confidential data,” he said.

This is an area Konica Minolta has been active in, with the vendor launching its OPS Bizhub Secure service to help customers mitigate the risk of security breaches.

Tech evolution

Another key discovery in the survey was 76 per cent of businesses do not believe the office printer is a potential security risk, despite today’s highly sophisticated multifunction machines.

As for why a business should be aware of this risk, Caldwell points out that the “humble office photocopier” has evolved over the last decade.

“Today, it’s an indispensable multifunctional device that integrates into a company’s computer network,” he said.

“Some devices allow Cloud connectivity and others allow users to print directly from their mobile devices.”

With such increased connectivity Caldwell says comes risk, yet the vendor's research shows that only 22 per cent of businesses believe their photocopier is a security risk.

“Businesses need to ensure they speak with their device vendor to ensure appropriate encryption software is activated to mitigate unwanted access to their devices,” he said.

Part of Konica Minolta’s new OPS bizhub Secure service has been developed to addresses this problem, such as ensuring the device’s hard drive is regularly erased to ensure confidential documents cannot be retrieved.

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.

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