-Workshare research unveils hidden data risk in business content-

July 16, 2014 – 68% of professionals are exposing their businesses’ most confidential information by failing to remove hidden data from documents they share with customers, suppliers, or colleagues, according to research released today by Workshare. The survey of 800 global knowledge workers uncovers the stark reality of businesses allowing valuable content to fall into the wrong hands by not providing employees with secure tools for detecting and removing hidden data (metadata).

Metadata can include hidden sensitive information in Excel, comments or track changes left in Word, and notes left in PowerPoint.

Key findings

  • 65% of employees believe it’s their responsibility to ensure that sensitive company information is not leaked
  • Only 32% of knowledge workers always clean files of hidden sensitive data before sharing 
  • 70% of those who forward emails with attachments without reading them first do not remove sensitive data before sending
  • 80% of employees use unsecure file sharing methods, putting corporate data at risk

The research rings alarm bells for business leaders and IT groups, as despite 94% recognizing the commercial value some documents have, only 1 in 5 use secure methods to share them.

Anthony Foy, CEO at Workshare commented, “Businesses must regain control and stem the flow of highly confidential information leaving the enterprise. In a bid to safeguard businesses’ most valuable assets, Workshare has developed a free educational tool for users to detect hidden data in documents and eliminate risk when sharing corporate content.”

Read the full report here. Users can identify hidden metadata using the free educational tool, Workshare Detect.