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Survey: Business leaders believe mobile device proliferation increases security risks to sensitive documents

SAN JOSE, Calif., March 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- There is a widespread and growing need to improve security practices surrounding confidential documents in most organizations today, according to a new study by the Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network.  In a global survey of managers and information workers, 6 out of every 10 respondents said they or someone they know have accidently sent out a document they shouldn't have.

Some 89 percent of survey takers believe document security risks are growing in their organization due to increased connectivity and the proliferation of mobile devices. The accidental sharing of confidential documents with a wrong party is by far their biggest concern.

The study report, entitled "Getting Control of Document Flow: Exploring Exposure and Risk In Document-Related Data Breaches," was sponsored by Foxit Software, a global leader in fast, affordable, and secure PDF solutions.

Download the complimentary report here:

Among key findings:

  • 95 percent of respondents express concerns about the security of documents in their organization.
  • 75 percent say their organizations create confidential documents on at least a weekly basis.
  • Less than one-third said their company has security solutions that are being effectively used in protecting document security.
  • Some 43 percent report that their company does not have widely understood policies for document security of which they are aware.
  • Only 16 percent say their organization is "very effective" in stopping the loss or accidental distribution of confidential digital documents.

"Most companies are clearly not doing enough when it comes to protecting the security of high-value information contained in documents," said Dave Murray, head of thought leadership for the BPI Network. "Our study indicates that a wide range of information that could compromise businesses is vulnerable to inadvertent leaks, as well as intentional theft. Organizations need to do more to set explicit document security policies and educate employees on available tools and best practices in securing the confidential information they handle."

Accidently sending a confidential document to the wrong party was by far the biggest area of perceived risk, identified by 61 percent of respondents. Other top concerns were cyber breaches of critical documents (37 percent), intentional leaks by employees (33 percent), and sensitive documents shared without permission by outside partners (31 percent).

Confidential documents are created in a wide range of departments within an enterprise, resulting in numerous types of high-value, at-risk information, according to the report. Survey participants ranked their concern for a wide variety of confidential, at-risk information. Top concerns in ranked order included:

  • Financial data
  • Employee records
  • Legal documents
  • Business contracts and agreements
  • Trade secrets and intellectual property
  • Business, marketing and sales plans

The survey also asked people to identify the most likely consequences of breaches related to confidential documents.  The top five were:

  • Reputational compromises
  • Customer, employee or partner lawsuits
  • Job loss or reprimand
  • Lost time seeking to fix the problem
  • Competitive risks

Desire for New Solutions

The study also found a strong desire for new and more effective types of document security solutions. The study specifically tested for interest in a cloud solution that can remotely track, recall and control digital documents after they have been distributed.  Some 89 percent of all respondents said this type of technology would be helpful in securing documents from unwanted exposure. 

"This study underscores a critical need for new document security solutions that address the challenges of a connected world," said Frank Kettenstock, Vice President of Marketing at Foxit Software.  "To date, the Internet and other digital and mobile technologies have tended to create new vulnerabilities for document security.  It's time we update the digital document itself in ways that make it more controllable and secure."

About the BPI Network

The Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network is a peer-driven thought leadership and professional networking organization reaching some 50,000 heads IT transformation, change management, business re-engineering, process improvement, and strategic planning. It is dedicated to advancing the emerging roles of the Chief Innovation Officer and Innovation Strategist within today's enterprise. The BPI Network brings together global executives who are champions of change within their organizations through ongoing research, authoritative content and peer-to-peer conversations. These functional area heads (operations, IT, finance, procurement, sales, marketing, product development, etc.) and line-of-business leaders are advocates for innovation as a fundamental discipline and function within 21st Century organizations. They seek to demonstrate where and how new inventive solutions and approaches can advance business value, gratify customers, ensure sustainability and create competitive advantage for companies worldwide. For more information, visit

About Foxit Software

Foxit is a leading software provider of fast, affordable, and secure PDF solutions. Businesses and consumers increase productivity by using Foxit's cost-effective products to securely work with PDF documents and forms.


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