May 2015: "Visual Hacking" Surprisingly Effective

43 offices from 7 different countries were recently subjects of a study conducted by Poneman Institute. In this study, the independent organization found that almost 90% of the attempts by researchers to gather sensitive information through exceptionally basic methods were successful. In this study, researchers were given temporary credentials to these offices which made them appear to be new employees for these offices. Once inside, they began taking pictures of computer screens and documents, physically taking documents from filing cabinets, and removing documents from printers and scanners. 

This experiment was conducted during normal business hours and the researchers put forth little effort to conceal their actions. However, despite this strange behavior, the employees in these 43 offices almost never said a word about the theft. In fact, there was only one instance of an employee reporting strange behavior to a supervisor. This study identified sales, customer service, and communications departments among the worst at protecting their sensitive information. The only noticeable difference between these offices was that the companies that conducted security awareness training were more likely to protect their confidential information.

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