November 18, 2014

Fight Fraud by Focusing on Your Office’s Biggest Risks

NEW YORK -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- In recognition of International Fraud Awareness week, occurring November 16 – 22, Shred-it is calling on business leaders to protect their organizations’ and customers’ confidential data from fraud by addressing the most vulnerable areas in their workplace.

According to the 13th Global Fraud Survey from EY, nearly one in six American organizations suffered from fraud in the past two years, double the rate measured in 2012. While many organizations will focus on the risks posed by external threats, too many will fail to take a look inside their own operations.

“Businesses that overlook areas of vulnerability within their workplace risk opening their organization up to potential fraud and are putting themselves in danger of a costly data breach,” said Bruce Andrew, EVP, Shred-it. “The good news is that many of the risks faced by businesses are easy to mitigate with simple, inexpensive solutions.”

Shred-it has identified the following five fraud hot spots in the office:

  • Printers: Many offices do not require employees to use a security code to complete a print job, which means that confidential information is frequently printed and left at printing stations. In order to mitigate this danger, businesses should mandate that employees secure their print jobs by using a security code or allow employees printing confidential information to use a printer in their own office workspace.
  • Non-Secure Recycling Bins and Wastepaper Baskets: Disposing of data in an unsecure bin is just as risky as leaving it at a printer or on a desk. A shred-all policy eliminates the guesswork from the process and ensures that employees don’t accidentally leave confidential information in unsecure locations. A third-party provider will also ensure that the material is recycled.
  • Messy Desks: Messy desks with loose paperwork are vulnerable to snooping and data theft and leaves material vulnerable to outside staff such as cleaners and building maintenance. Consider implementing a clean desk policy and provide lockable storage units so employees can protect confidential information.
  • IT Device Storage: Electronic storage devices are very convenient when you can’t access the company network, but they also raise the risk of fraud. Businesses can reduce the risk of fraud by requiring that storage devices be signed out and ensuring that they are securely destroyed when they reach the end of their use.
  • Car / Homes /Hotels: In the past, employees generally worked at the office and rested at home. With an increasingly mobile workplace, people can now access all their files at home. While convenient, that means that confidential information may be left in areas that are unsecure. Companies should caution employees to only take or print confidential information outside the workplace when absolutely necessary and instruct them on proper secure disposal.

Business leaders need to acknowledge vulnerabilities within the workplace and take action to introduce policies and procedures that will help reduce the risk of fraud.

“Each time a smart security policy, no matter how simple, is implemented, it reduces the risk of fraud,” said Mike Savage, Leader, Fraud Investigation and Dispute Services at EY. “Business leaders who take risk seriously are making their companies stronger and setting a tone for ethical behaviour.”

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About Shred-it

Shred-it is a world-leading information security company providing information destruction services that ensure the security and integrity of our clients' private information. The company operates in 170 markets throughout 18 countries worldwide, servicing more than 300,000 global, national and local businesses. For more information, please visit