News Feature | February 2, 2016

One-Quarter Of Organizations Do Not Encrypt Sensitive Data

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

AIIM Report: One-Quarter Of Organizations Do Not Encrypt Sensitive Data

Research by AIIM revealed 26 percent of organizations have suffered customer data loss or exposure over the past year, but 25 percent do not encrypt sensitive data.

AIIM’s report Data Privacy – Living by New Rules states that as a consequence of lost customer or employee data, 10 percent of affected organizations faced fines or regulatory actions, 25 percent experienced a disruption to business, and 18 percent suffered a loss of customer trust. In addition, 38 percent of the organizations polled reported being highly dependent on sensitive personal data, while 33 percent have some sensitive client data, and 20 percent have just basic HR content.

“Customer data can be an invaluable asset for any organization, but it is imperative that personal data is kept safe and that consumers are confident their personal details remain private,” says Bob Larrivee, chief analyst at AIIM, in a release.

As previous studies have found, internal threats can be more dangerous than external ones when it comes to data breaches, and the AIIM study found that 47 percent of organizations polled reported a data breach, exposure, or incident in the past year as a result of staff intent (19 percent) or staff negligence (28 percent), while just 13 percent experienced an external hack.

Of those polled, 68 percent want governments to encourage stronger, tamper-proof encryption; the survey shows 62 percent do not encrypt email addresses and 25 percent do not encrypt credit card data, while 64 percent claim to encrypt all personally identifiable information (PII) and 75 percent encrypt all sensitive personal data.

The study found the biggest challenges businesses face are persuading employees to use encryption, followed by dealing with forgotten passwords or lost two-factor devices.

The Web-based survey of 202 AIIM community members was conducted between October 23, 2015, and November 16, 2015.