Toronto, ON – A new Ipsos poll for Shred-It reveals that half of Canadian small business owners (53%) and C-suite executives (48%) lack confidence in their current methods for securely destroying paper or electronic media.
Hard Realities with Hard Drives
The Ipsos poll – the seventh annual Shred-It Information Security Tracker Survey – finds that many Canadian small businesses are underprepared for future information-security risks. Six in ten (60%) SBOs see the biggest future information security risks to their organization coming from online threats (29%), cloud computing (16%) or the paperless office (15%). Yet while the perceived risks to electronic media are numerous, nearly half (46%) of SBOs say their organization lacks policies necessary for the proper disposal of confidential electronic data, and half (50%) lack any policies whatsoever to regulate electronic devices in their business. For SBOs who actively dispose of their confidential electronic files, nearly six in ten (59%) wipe or dispose of their electronic confidential data in-house.
While many SBOs do not have policies for electronic data protection or disposal, nearly nine in ten (87%) C-suite executives work at organizations that do have policies in place to govern the use of electronic devices. However, nearly half (47%) don’t require electronic devices to be both encrypted and password protected, while more than four in ten (44%) say their policy for disposing of confidential data on these devices isn’t strictly adhered to by all employees.
Though the overwhelming majority (92%) of C-suites recognize the importance of having an external provider for hard drive destruction, many choose to go it alone: nearly six in ten (56%) say their organization wipes or disposes of confidential electronic files in-house.
Could Government Do More?
With large-scale information security risks regularly in the news, one question that arises is how well prepared national governments are to address these threats. In Canada, just one in ten (12%) SBOs, and three in ten C-suites (31%), believe that the Canadian government is doing an excellent job in fulfilling its commitment to information security. This leaves nearly nine in ten (88%) SBOs who rate the government’s response to information security concerns as less than excellent, and 69% of C-suite executives who feel the same.
Some business leaders see a potential upside for an increased role for government on information security: more than half (52%) of C-suites say that stricter legislation, such as greater financial penalties for not adhering to document destruction legislation, would put needed pressure on their business to improve their confidential information practices. One in four C-suites (24%) say that such a move wouldn’t apply more pressure, while a further 24% don’t know. SBOs are less inclined to agree: about one in four (27%) say greater financial penalties would put pressure on their organization to change their policies, while four in ten (39%) say it wouldn’t, and one in three (34%) aren’t sure.
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between February 15 and February 28, 2017, on behalf of Shred-it. For this survey, a sample of 1,001 Canadian small business owners (SBOs) and 100 Canadian C-suite executives from Ipsos' 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 Canada SBO sample is considered accurate to within +/- 3.5 percentage points had all small business owners been surveyed, and the Canada C-suite sample is accurate to within +/- 11.2 percentage points had all C-suites been surveyed. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. 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:
Vice President, Canada
Ipsos Public Affairs
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