An independent survey by multi-function printer (MFP) document imaging software provider, eCopy, Inc., has found the vast majority of organisations are still photocopying documents containing sensitive data, increasing the risk of lost information and identity fraud.
The survey, 'Effective data protection - reality and risks', was carried out online and questioned over 100 senior executives, operational and administrative staff from the public, private and voluntary sectors. It was designed to establish how organisations manage their data, including its reproduction, storage and disposal.
The research found that seven in ten (70%) organisations frequently make paper copies of original documentation, with 15% doing so as a matter of course. Nearly one in five (18%) frequently make a paper copy - that is then used to make an electronic copy. Many respondents said they make paper copies of documents that contain personal and sensitive information, including letters/correspondence (50%), financial (47%), identification (34%) and legal (30%) documents.
In terms of paper document disposal, nearly seven in ten organisations (67%) recognise the need to shred documents that are no longer required, but one quarter (25%) are failing to securely dispose of documents. An alarming 22% recycle them without shredding, leaving sensitive and personal data freely accessible to fraudsters - while 3% just throw paper copies into the bin.
eCopy's sales director for UK and Ireland, Simon Hill, comments, "The research highlights a need for improved organisational procedures to govern copying of sensitive documentation, its storage and disposal after use. Document management and document imaging solutions provide secure document capture, storage and disposal practices which help to protect against online fraud and ID theft.
"The best solution to capture and protect sensitive data is to introduce it into a secure electronic workflow directly from the input device, either a scanner or an MFP, from where the user can protect and control who gets to view, edit or print the scanned document. In this way organisations can minimise potential failures in following business processes by enabling Intelligent Document Routing.
"Intuitive document imaging solutions like eCopy ShareScan eliminate the need for creating paper copies and the increased risk of fraud when disposing of them. They also improve productivity and enforce better compliance through comprehensive audit trails. In addition, they increase return on investment of additional solutions, as well as that of existing infrastructure and software, including multi-function printers."
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