Canadian Businesses Fail to Prioritize Data Protection and Remain in Denial of the Consequences of a Data Breach: Shred-it Study Confirms

Posted: June 17, 2019

OAKVILLE, ON, June 17 2019 – Today, Shred-it released its annual report on data protection, revealing an overly optimistic perception of information security practices within Canadian businesses at all levels. The Data Protection Report (DPR), formerly known as “The Security Tracker: State of the Industry Report,” found that Canadian businesses must take a closer look at their current data protection policies and more heavily invest in security, otherwise they risk a negative impact to the bottom line and a potential talent retention issue.  

The survey findings, conducted by Ipsos, revealed the following: 
  • Companies believe they are improving at protecting sensitive information, however consumers feel less confident that their data security is taken seriously. In fact, consumers are twice as likely to report that their personal data security has declined (50% less secure), as opposed to improved (23% more secure), compared to ten years ago;
  • C-Suite and Small Business Owners (SBOs) recognize data security risk, but underestimate the consequences. Although the majority of C-Suites (66%) confirm they are likely to report a data breach over the next five years, many (47%) report that data breaches are “no big deal” and that they are “blown out of proportion”;
  • While executives trust their employees completely, the study confirms that human error is often the main cause of a data breach. The survey found that 52% of C-Suites, and 40% of SBOs, report human error or accidental loss by employee/insider to be the main cause of a data breach.

“The findings of this year’s report should act as a wake-up call for Canadian business leaders,” said Pete Vincett, Vice President of Stericycle Canada, provider of Shred-it information security solutions. “One data breach can have a devastating impact across all aspects of a business. Canadian C-Suite’s and SBOs need to rethink their current practices and take action to implement stronger precautionary measures, or suffer the financial and reputational repercussions."

The study also revealed the need for Canadian businesses to take a more consumer-centric approach when thinking about the reputational value of strong data security – most specifically, with millennials.
  • The majority (63%) of consumers are concerned that their private and personal information in paper format is “out there” and 82% of consumers believe that a data breach is a “big deal”;
  • Only 34% of C-Suites and SBOs report that their organization would lose trust if they suffered a data breach, yet millennials (ages 18-34), who make up the dominant consumer pool, are less forgiving and would be most likely to lose trust (43% vs. 33% 35+), seek compensation (33% vs. 18%) and tell others about a breach (39% vs. 29%).

The 2019 DPR represent a valuable tool for businesses as consumers increasingly scrutinize corporate data protection practices. When choosing whom to conduct business with, the 2019 DPR results will help Canadian businesses remain competitive. C-Suites and SBOs now have access to the valuable insights they need to make informed and strategic investments in premium data security to benefit both business and customer.

To learn more about how organizations can better protect their business against data breaches and receive additional survey findings download Shred-it’s 2019 Data Protection Report here.

About the 2019 Data Protection Report 
Shred-it commissioned Ipsos to conduct a quantitative online survey of two distinct sample groups: Small Business Owners (SBO) in Canada (n=1,000) with fewer than 100 employees. C-Suite Executives in Canada (n=100), with a minimum of 100 employees. Data for Small Business Owners is weighted by region. Data for C-Suite Executives is unweighted as the population is unknown. The precision of Ipsos online surveys is calculated via a credibility interval.  In this case, the Canada SBO sample is considered accurate to within +/- 3.5 percentage points had all Canadian small business owners been surveyed, and the Canada C-Suite sample is accurate to within +/- 11.2 percentage points had all Canadian C-Suite Executives been surveyed. The fieldwork was conducted between March 26th and April 1st, 2019. 

In addition to the quantitative online survey, Ipsos conducted a short omnibus survey among a gen pop sample of n=2,002 Canadians about data protection and security. The results of the omnibus survey have been reported separately, though comparisons against relevant questions of interest have been included in this report. The credibility interval for this sample group is +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had all adults in Canada over the age of 18 been surveyed.

About Shred-it 
Shred-it is a world-leading information security service provided by Stericycle, Inc. Shred-it solutions ensure the security and integrity of private and confidential information, protecting more than 500,000 global, national and local businesses across 17 countries worldwide. For more information, please visit

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 fourth in the global research industry.

With offices in 89 economies, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across five research specializations: brand, advertising and media; customer loyalty; marketing; public affairs research; and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe. Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,780.5 million in 2017.

For more information:

Alison Joutsi 
NATIONAL Public Relations (for Shred-it)
T: 905-715-1818

Katarina Kristanic
Director, PR, Media & Social, Stericycle (provider of Shred-it solutions)
T: 905-491-2213

Request a Quote

Fill out the form or call 888-750-6450 to start protecting your business today!

Select Service

Company info

Your info

Additional Info