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Surety, LLC Survey Exposes Concern About Data Tampering Risks in Collaborative IT Environments

2009 SharePoint Security Survey Proves Organizations with High-Value Electronic Records Need Additional Data Integrity Protection

Reston, VA – April 9, 2009 — Surety, LLC, the leading provider of data integrity solutions, today announced the results of its 2009 SharePoint Security Survey. The survey of more than 330 respondents spanned a broad spectrum of information technology job titles across markets, and the results revealed overwhelming concerns about the risks of data tampering in collaborative environments, particularly Microsoft® SharePoint®.

Alarmingly, nearly one-quarter of respondents lack confidence that their organizations’ electronic records or other digital content are protected when they are being shared within the SharePoint environment, and of the respondents whose organizations have suffered a data breach within their SharePoint system, 67 percent indicated that the tampering was at the hands of a person with access to SharePoint from inside the organization.

“This is not about SharePoint’s built-in protection controls, which are good in general, but instead it’s about protecting the integrity and authenticity of electronic records that can be shared across multiple parties in any document or records management system,” said Bob Flinton, Vice President of Marketing and Product Management of Surety, LLC. “With data security and integrity controls, like third-party digital timestamps, integrated into business process systems like SharePoint, organizations are able to deter electronic data tampering more effectively.”

The survey also revealed that a majority of organizations are using SharePoint to store and share their most vital electronic records, such as critical intellectual property (IP) records, to strategic corporate planning documents, company financials, employee records, electronic medical records (EMR) and personal health records (PHR). Forty six percent of respondents estimated that the data housed in their SharePoint systems was valued greater than $10 million dollars. Nearly 30 percent of survey respondents valued the electronic records housed in their SharePoint systems at more than $50 million dollars, with 9 percent indicating that their data was valued greater than $500 million dollars.
Other findings in Surety’s 2009 SharePoint Security Survey include:

  • The ability to authenticate electronic records is essential in order to prove that these records have not been tampered with (for compliance, intellectual property protection or litigation readiness). Fifty eight percent of respondents indicated that electronic records authentication was either their most important or an important priority for their electronic records. Interestingly, 75 percent of respondents with C-level titles indicated that electronic records authentication is a top-of-mind concern.
  • SharePoint users want additional security and document authentication capabilities in their collaborative environments. Nearly 60 percent of survey respondents believe that adding security and document authentication options to SharePoint would result in a “better and safer collaboration environment,” while only 5 percent viewed them negatively.
  • The consequences of a SharePoint security breach extend beyond IT. According to survey respondents, the most significant consequences facing their organization include data loss (62 percent), reputation risk (41 percent), intellectual property compromise (35 percent), and non-compliance with regulations and legislation (31 percent).

To receive a full copy of the findings for Surety's 2009 SharePoint Security Survey, contact

Survey Methodology

The survey was conducted by eMedia USA on behalf of Surety during the Fall of 2008, and included 336 SharePoint, Network and Systems Administrators, Systems Architects, IT Directors, Security Analysts, Network Engineers, Chief Security Officers and Chief Technology Officers.

About Surety, LLC

Founded in 1994 by leading Bellcore Scientists, Surety is recognized as a premiere third-party time-stamp authority. With over 30 million electronic records and files worldwide protected under its authenticity seal, the company’s flagship service offering AbsoluteProof®; enables organizations to meet the legal, fiduciary and regulatory responsibilities associated with creating, managing and archiving electronic data by providing verifiable evidence of data integrity and authenticity. The company’s client base is made up of legal and financial services firms, healthcare organizations, research and development laboratories, managed services providers and copyright protection agencies that are ensuring record integrity with AbsoluteProof. For more information, visit

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