Despite being nearly 60 years old and seemingly outdated by newer and more powerful telecommunications technologies, the fax machine is still very much alive and vibrant, according to new research.
An eFax report of 1,001 IT and business decision makers from large enterprises, SMBs and public sector organizations found that in the majority of businesses (54%) there are between 6 and 50 fax users. What’s more, a fifth said there were 51 or more fax users in their organizations.
To make matters even weirder, more than a third (37%) of respondents said they expect fax usage to increase in the future, while 28% expect usage remains the same. Only 35% expect to see the use of fax machines decrease.
Share your thoughts on cybersecurity and get a free copy of Hacker’s Manual 2022. Help us find out how companies are preparing for the post-Covid world and the implications of these activities on their cybersecurity plans. Enter your email at end of this investigation to get the bookazine, worth $10.99 / £10.99.
Contracts, company accounts, sensitive documents
The results seem to be strongly linked to everyone sending and receiving secure documents remotely, more than ever before. Over the past year, around two-thirds (64%) said the number of secure documents they received had remained the same or had increased. In total, a third party sends and receives secure documents daily.
Almost half (45%) share these documents via password-protected emails, 43% use encrypted software for emails. Among fax users, 35% use cloud-based fax systems, 31% mix them with traditional fax, while 15% use traditional fax only.
When it comes to the types of documents faxed today, contracts make up the majority (56%), followed by leases (44%), business accounts (31%), commercially sensitive documents (28% ) and documents containing sensitive bank details. (26%).
“Fax remains at the heart of many businesses and their operations. Its secret life underpins many organizations, fueling the effective communication of secure, legally binding documents today and for years to come,” commented Scott Wilson, Vice President, Sales and Service, eFax.
> Hackers can target your fax machine
> Ultimaker and MakerBot merge to become a 3D printing giant
> NHS ordered to stop using fax machines
“So it’s no surprise that the top driver of continued fax usage is security at 41%. But that is quickly followed by profitability at 36%, GDPR compliance at 34%, and the growing importance of cloud storage at 23%.
“Cloud fax providers have had to develop an infrastructure that ensures business users have the most secure, private and legally compliant way to transmit their confidential data to customers, suppliers, partners and other third parties. This is why the secrecy of the fax will remain central to many business processes,” Wilson concluded.
- Did you know you can use online fax services? Here are the best