Data protection regulations such as GDPR and SOX have placed a big focus on the protection of electronic data, but these regulations aren’t solely designed to protect your digital documents. They cover all manner of PII (Personally Identifiable Information) including physical or paper-based data.

Earlier this year, QuoCirca produced the findings of their annual research around data protection and found that between 2022 and 2023, 61% of businesses experienced some form of paper-related data loss. And, with the cost of data breaches increasing, businesses can’t afford to be complacent about what happens to our printed data.

In 2022, the report found that data loss cost businesses on average £632,000. This last year, those costs have risen further with the average cost of data loss now at £743,000.

Yet, despite this, only 19% of the businesses surveyed that had more than 1000 employees felt confident about the protection of their printed data. According to the research carried out, medium sized businesses with between 500 and 999 employees are more confident about how they protect their data, with just 30% of these businesses confirming that they are confident about their print protection.

So, what is it that is holding businesses back from protecting their paper-based data effectively? The QuoCirca research put it down to three things:

Maintaining the security of print management software

The research released by QuoCirca found that 35% of businesses found maintaining print security a challenge. For software to be robust and reliable in the protection of software, it needs to be patched on occasion and updated regularly to remedy any vulnerabilities. However, in a business that doesn’t have a dedicated IT team, or maybe where the printer fleet is geographically disparate, this isn’t an easy task.

Protecting confidential data from being printed

In recent years, more and more printers have data-protection features built in, but for data protection to not be left to chance, the correct systems and workflows need to be set up to effectively. Documents should be categorised and controlled to ensure that only those documents that should be printable are printable. However, categorising documents and setting up these workflows and protective capabilities takes time and know-how that not all businesses have in-house.

Securing Remote Printing

The third biggest challenge to businesses when it comes to protecting their data arises from the change in working habits post covid. With more employees working remotely, securing printing has become increasingly complex. 31% of businesses that took part in the QuoCirca survey said that securing remote printing was their top concern.

For many of these businesses, it’s the man hours and the know-how that stands in the way of complete confidence in printed data security. By enlisting the support of a print management service, businesses can outsource these responsibilities to a central, off-site team with the skills, experience and time, to put such systems in place and deliver printed document protection.

ASL Group Ltd doesn’t just source your printer fleet in an efficient and economical way, they will also help you get control over your printed documents by putting the workflows and processes in place to help you protect your data, digital or paper based, wherever your workforce.

For more information on how we can help you protect your data, visit our website at data-removal-service/ or contact us on 0345 207 7000.