New Research Uncovers Security and Audit Risks Exposed in Business Documents

London, 27th January 2005 – A new research report published today entitled The Risk of Sharing shows increasing risks and liabilities organisations face when dealing with document review and exchange. The research, sponsored by Workshare, highlights the need for businesses to improve ‘Document Integrity’ processes in order to reduce the security, compliance, accuracy and efficiency issues associated with business documents in an increasingly email-centric world.

The research, gathered from 300 businesses across the UK, US and Australia by independent research consultancy, Vanson Bourne, uncovers how risks, such as inadvertent exposure of document hidden information (i.e., metadata), lack of process auditability, inaccuracies through review cycles and significant resource drains created throughout the document process are pervasive across many industries today. The report reveals:

” Over exposed – Up to 75% of business documents contain legally sensitive information

” Ignorance of risk – 90% of business users have no awareness of potentially damaging, hidden information (metadata) that resides in amended documents

” Accountability gaps – Only 40% of individual’s contributions end up in a final version, creating significant gaps in the document audit trail

” Worse than spam – Business users spend more email time handling email-attached business documents than dealing with spam

” Amendment hell – Business professionals spend on average 2.5 hours in amendment and approval hell, tackling emailed document attachments

” Stare and compare – There is a lack of faith in the existing technology available to manage document changes, with 82% of business users still preferring to use hard copy documents for in complex approval processes

Graham Opie, senior researcher, Vanson Bourne, says “One striking aspect of the research is the consistency of findings across three distinct territories. There is a global significance to the problem. This is easy to understand when we look at the fact that email and Word, with hundreds of million users worldwide, are the common tools used to create, amend and send business documents.”

“Integrity is set to become an important part of business for 2005,” commented Joe Fantuzzi, CEO, Workshare. “The security, accuracy and compliance of document content are being overlooked by companies, creating an unnecessary risk from a seemingly benign process. Document integrity looks at these processes and closes the accountability and efficiency gaps created by business users exchanging and amending information.”

With auditing and data capture increasing in importance as a result of legislation such as Sarbanes Oxley, Basel II, Companies Act and the Freedom of Information Act (UK) there is a mounting case for companies to maintain tighter control on document compliance and security. The Risk of Sharing report reveals a lack of awareness and potential gaps in existing processes that present immediate challenges for companies that recognise the need for action in this area.

Concluding, Fantuzzi comments, “A best practices approach to document integrity starts with a non-disruptive monitoring of existing processes followed by ongoing analysis, modelling and amendment. All organisations that place high value on business documents, such as public corporations, professional services firms and public sector organisations, should take something from the Risk of Sharing report”

For further information or a copy of the research study published by Workshare, entitled The Risk of Sharing, please contact:

Samuel Hall/Helen Carroll
Octopus Communications
Tel: +44 (0)1753 672 755

About Vanson Bourne
Information is the key to the success of any business today, and never more so than in the IT industry. Incorporated in 1999, Vanson Bourne is a specialist IT market research consultancy that offers clients analysis and advice based on incisive and rigorous research into their market environment.

About Workshare
Workshare is the industry leader providing document integrity applications for professionals in global enterprises. Its suite of high-value document lifecycle products includes award-winning Workshare 3 for review, Workshare DeltaView for verification, and Workshare Protect for security. Workshare’s customer base spans small to large organisations in every sector with more than 70 percent of the Fortune 100 companies and 85 percent of the top 250 professional services firms, including Siemens, Caterpillar, Nortel Networks, Sony Music, Hartford Life Insurance, Wells Fargo, Clifford Chance, Baker & McKenzie, PwC and KPMG. In total, more than 4,500 companies and over 650,000 professionals in 60 countries use Workshare’s software. The company has offices in London, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, CapeTown, Hong Kong and Melbourne. Workshare is the sponsor of, the definitive source for content security. For more information, visit

Don't miss