Fourth Annual Shred-It Security Tracker Reveals Declining Priority of Information Security Among American Businesses

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Toronto, ON – A new survey conducted by Ipsos Reid on behalf of Shred-It Security reveals a deprioritizing of information security and a decrease in investment of destruction of confidential information within many American businesses, marking the first decline in four years.

According to the results, while nine in ten (86%) of American c-suite executives are aware of the legal requirements supporting the protection of confidential data, this figure has dipped from 99% of c-suites who acknowledged these requirements in 2013.

While almost half (44%) of executives cite frequent audits of their company’s information security procedures and protocols, one in five (19%) indicate that their organization has never conducted such an audit.

Even more alarming is the fact that American small business owners are nearly equally as likely to frequently (30%) audit these security policies or have never conducted an audit at all (28%). Just half (47%) of small business owners have a protocol for storing and disposing confidential information, while the remaining half either have a protocol that employees are not aware of (13%), no protocol at all (31%) or don’t know if they have such a protocol (9%).

Information Security Insecurity…

The 2014 Security Tracker results show that many businesses underestimate the potential financial and reputational implications caused by information security breaches. Four in ten (40%) small business owners and two in ten (22%) c-suite executives do not think lost or stolen data would seriously impact their business.

Even more alarming is the fact that one in five small business owners (18%) and c-suite executives (20%) don’t know the perceived impact of lost or stolen data on their business, especially considering one in five (19%) c-suite executives and one in ten (10%) small business owners have experienced fraud and/or an information breach in the past.

Other Shred-It’s 4th Annual Security Tracker Findings…

  • Four in ten (43%) c-suite executives would encourage new privacy information laws requiring stricter compliance and larger enforceable penalties, while a similar proportion (37%) don’t know if they would support such laws
  • One in ten (10%, up 9 points) c-suite executives do not have a professional shredding service or store documents in a locked console, instead they just throw them in the garbage
  • Seven in ten (70%) small business owners and three in ten (30%) c-suite executives do not have a cyber-security policy in place
  • Nearly one in five (15%, up 2 points) c-suite executives are likely to have never trained staff on security procedures
  • Four in ten (38%) executives admit to having an employee directly responsible for managing data security issues at the management level, down from 61% in 2013
  • One in five (21%) c-suite executives have no employee at all who is directly responsible for managing data security issues, up from 10% in 2013

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between April 28th to May 5th, 2014 on behalf of Shred-It Security. For this survey, a total sample of n=1,007 small business owners and n=100 c-suite level executives from Ipsos' American online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/- 3.5 percentage points had all small business owners in the U.S. been polled, and within +/- 11.2 percentage points had all c-suite executives been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Sean Simpson
Vice President
Ipsos Reid
Public Affairs
(416) 572-4474

About Ipsos Reid

Ipsos Reid is Canada's market intelligence leader, the country's leading provider of public opinion research, and research partner for loyalty and forecasting and modelling insights. With operations in eight cities, Ipsos Reid employs more than 600 research professionals and support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in the country, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and online panels. Ipsos Reid's marketing research and public affairs practices offer the premier suite of research vehicles in Canada, all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant information. Staffed with seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, Ipsos Reid offers syndicated information or custom solutions across key sectors of the Canadian economy, including consumer packaged goods, financial services, automotive, retail, and technology & telecommunications. Ipsos Reid is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research group.

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About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks third in the global research industry.

With offices in 86 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across six research specializations: advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, public affairs research, and survey management.

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Fourth Annual Shred-It Security Tracker Reveals Declining Priority of Information Security Among American Businesses


Sean Simpson
Vice President, Canada
Ipsos Public Affairs