European banks lack document security

Financial services companies across Europe are unintentionally putting their confidential information at risk, according to research from Ricoh. At the heart of the issue is the lack of a centralized document governance strategy.

The research also includes business leaders from the professional services, public services, telecommunications, utilities and media sectors. The findings show that the financial industry is the least likely to have a policy in place to restrict the printing of customer information with just 46 per cent confirming that they have implemented a formal policy. Just 33 per cent of public sector organizations have a fully implemented document security strategy.

The number rises to 43 per cent in Professional Services and 48 per cent in Telecommunications/Utilities/Media. Overall, the results show that even the most regulated industries can be doing more to protect confidential information and govern their documents more effectively.

As one would expect, the majority of European business leaders have a strong understanding of the need for document security and almost half of the respondents (49 percent) are equally concerned about the risks from digital and printed information. Yet, despite the awareness, it is the minority that are proactively implementing policies to protect their confidential information.

The lack of security measures can be attributed to decentralized document governance, where no single function is accountable for this area. In many cases, it is being managed by several people across the business or responsibility is devolved either to department heads or individuals. Duplication and inefficiency are a result of this decentralized approach which also impacts productivity and sustainability.

Ian Winham, Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Ricoh Europe said, “European businesses today face increasing risks associated with the growing regulatory requirements and pressure from customers, with increased digitization, to demonstrate responsibility. The most effective way to manage the challenges and gain return on investment is to ensure that a businesses document assets are managed as an integral part of an organization’s overall information management and security strategy. Also by implementing a centralized and strategic document governance strategy that assigns clear responsibility and accountability for the document workflow, businesses will reduce the risk of confidential data getting into the wrong hands, and critically drive cost and process efficiencies across the whole business.”