Negligent boardrooms pose significant risk to UK firms’ confidential data

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In addition, many firms could be in breach of regulatory instructions by failing to destroy confidential documents in line with compliance policies.
Brainloop’s survey of 100 business professionals was conducted in March 2015 at ICSA’s London conference on March 12th 2015. Those questioned included company secretaries, company directors, non-executive directors, senior management and secretaries / administrators.

Insecure distribution methods win the majority vote in many UK boardrooms

The Brainloop survey revealed that more than half of UK firms are not using secure, digital board solutions to distribute confidential information. Of the respondents, the highest proportion using a digital board solution is in firms of 500+ employees (49 per cent).

Nearly one third of those questioned in the survey (32 per cent) are still using paper and postal services to distribute confidential board material.

Thirty-four per cent are using email, the number one threat vector for organisations, according to Verizon’s Annual Data Breach Survey. Forty per cent of firms in the 51-250 and 251-500 size brackets cited email as their preferred distribution method.

UK firms resisting paperless boardroom and falling foul of compliance laws

Brainloop’s study confirmed the paperless office (or boardroom) is still a long way off as when it comes to the meeting itself, over 70 per cent of respondents said that they still carry hard copies of board material. Larger organisations – 251-500 employees – are the most reliant on hard copies, with 80 per cent of this group admitting they still use physical documentation.

When it comes to destroying confidential documents 40 per cent of those questioned were unable to confirm that this was done in line with compliance policies. Nearly one quarter (22 per cent) admitted they did not know if this happened. Sixteen per cent adopted a more casual attitude admitting that ‘sometimes’ they destroyed documents in line with compliance policies.

World’s least secure mobile O/S used by almost one quarter of respondents

Almost one quarter of respondents in the Brainloop survey (22 per cent) are using mobile devices running Android to access confidential board material. If they’re not using a secure App they could be leaving themselves open to a potential information leak. Security issues related to the Android operating system are well documented and according to researcher and security specialist, F-Secure, Android accounts for 97 per cent of all mobile malware.

Mark Edge, UK country manager at Brainloop, commented, ‘Board members are working with confidential business information every day, and ultimately are responsible for the security of that information. Organisations should continuously review the practices they employ around board communications to ensure that it is not the weakest link in their IT security armour.’
 

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