In this digital age you may wonder: who still uses paper in the workplace? Plenty of people.

For example, a recent CIO article cites research from Wakefield Research and InfoTrends that shows that:

  • Seventy three percent of owners and decision makers at smaller companies still print at least four times per day.
  • Companies spend as much as $27,000 per year on document management processes in order to support an average of 5,000 pages printed per month.

Even more data comes from Record Nations, which notes:

  • The average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year.
  • 45% of paper printed in offices ends up trashed by the end of the day.
  • Some companies spend more than $120 billion a year on printed forms, most of which outdate themselves within three months’ time.
  • The average businesses paper consumption grows by 22% per year, meaning in 3.3 years, paper consumption will double.

With that paper use comes the need to secure it. Not doing so can lead to disastrous consequences.

For example, a tour company that organizes school field trips for British of Columnbia, Canada students is apologizing for dumping personal information in the recycling bin of a sorting room where hundreds of local residents and others had access.

A news report from CTV News said it reviewed the material and found thousands of pages of documents, including parent consent forms, passenger manifests for flights, and full-color, high-resolution copies of credit cards and passports that are still valid. Some medical information like allergies was also included on some forms.

While digital data breaches account for the vast majority of records breached, the risks posed by paper records are still significant and should not be overlooked.  Document security should be as equally important within your enterprise as physical and cybersecurity.