October 26, 2020

Introducing Shred-it’s 10th Annual Data Protection Report


Data Security Trends Over the Decade

It’s no secret how drastically the workplace landscape has changed over the last decade. From the exponential advancement of technology to the spike in remote working, businesses are being forced to take a closer look at data and information security due to growing consumer concerns.

This week, Shred-it released its 10th annual study on data protection, the 2020 Data Protection Report (DPR), and the results highlight the need for business leaders to reevaluate employee training and protocols. While external threats and physical property loss continue to be the biggest information security threats to businesses, the policies designed to protect against these threats, like employee training, have actually declined in 2020. Moreover, more than half of consumers feel less secure about their personal data security than they did a decade ago.

2020 Trends in Data Security


The Impact of Data Breaches Climbing

Between 2006 and 2020, the average cost of data breaches rose from $3.54 million to $8.64 million, according to research by the Ponemon Institute. While 80% of business leaders indicated that data security is a top priority for them, 43% of C-suite executives (C-suites) and 12% of small business owners (SBOs) surveyed reported a data breach this year. Consumers have taken notice; over half of consumers feel that their personal data and information are less secure than they were 10 years ago.

Consumers Take Action When Data Safety Expectations Aren’t Met

Declining consumer trust could threaten to impact a business’s bottom lines, with as many as one in three consumers reporting they would lose trust in a company they did business with if it suffered a breach. While consumers accept the reality of data breaches, they take the issue seriously. In fact, close to 23% would seek compensation and 24% would stop doing business with them altogether.

Training and Enforcement May Be the Key to Reducing Security Risks

Despite 94% of C-suites indicating that they have policies for storing and disposing of confidential information, only 62% of employees acknowledge that they strictly adhere to it. In addition, 24% of C-suites and half of SBOs disclosed that they don’t have regular employee training on their information security policies and procedures. While some businesses have training in place, the survey highlights the need for improvement and a heightened awareness of the role employees play in safeguarding information.

Remote Worker Trend Adversely Affects Information Security

Working remotely has been on the rise in recent years, with even more businesses embracing it due to COVID-19, yet information security policies are lagging behind. 90% of C-suite executives (C-suites) and 64% of small business owners (SBOs) believe the option to work remotely will become increasingly important to their employees over the next five years. However, 45% of SBOs claim that no policy exists for storing and disposing of confidential information when employees work away from the office.

Future Data Security Challenges

As the next decade unfolds, new information security challenges will arise, and businesses should be ready to reevaluate information security training and protocols to adjust to our changing world and maintain consumer trust. It is critical for businesses to implement proper employee training and remain consistent with workplace policies to protect their bottom line.

Protect Your Documents & Confidential Information

To learn more about data security and how to mitigate the risks of data breaches, download our 2020 Data Protection Report.