There’s a widespread and growing need to improve security practices surrounding confidential documents in most organizations today, according to a new report by the Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network, a peer-driven thought leadership and professional networking organization of IT leaders.

In a global survey of more than 200 managers and information workers conducted in the fourth quarter of 2016 and first quarter of 2017, 60% of respondents said they or someone they know have accidently sent out a document they shouldn’t have.

A huge majority (89%) think document security risks are growing in their organization due to increased connectivity and the proliferation of mobile devices. The accidental sharing of confidential documents with a wrong party is by far their biggest concern, according to the study, which was sponsored by software provider Foxit Software.

Among the other key findings: 95% of respondents express concerns about the security of documents in their organization; 75% said their organization creates confidential documents on at least a weekly basis; less than one-third said their company has security solutions that are being effectively used in protecting document security; 43% said their company doesn’t have widely understood policies for document security of which they are aware; and only 16% said their organization is “very effective” in stopping the loss or accidental distribution of confidential digital documents.

“Most companies are clearly not doing enough when it comes to protecting the security of high-value information contained in documents,” said Dave Murray, head of thought leadership for the BPI Network.

“Our study indicates that a wide range of information that could compromise businesses is vulnerable to inadvertent leaks, as well as intentional theft,” Murray said. “Organizations need to do more to set explicit document security policies and educate employees on available tools and best practices in securing the confidential information they handle.”

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