Celebrating International Data Privacy Day to Raise Awareness of Privacy Challenges in a Digital Age and Promote Information Security Best Practices
NEW YORK, NEW YORK--(Marketwire - Jan. 26, 2012) -
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Shred-it and The National Cyber Security Alliance have joined forces to promote International Data Privacy Day to educate organizations on how they can protect the privacy of information. With support from a wide array of companies, nonprofits, universities, and privacy professionals, Data Privacy Day events and activities are occurring worldwide on and around January 28, 2012.
This year, the focus of Data Privacy Day is on the protection of digital data, and as technology evolves and cybercrime increases, this is now more crucial than ever. When company hardware is not properly discarded, information is left vulnerable to recovery and potential security or privacy breaches can occur.
This issue is definitely cause for concern. According to HP Electronics, 46 per cent of companies admit to stockpiling their old hard drives. Furthermore, what individuals and companies may not realize is that by using forensic software programs, 10,000 sensitive documents can be downloaded from improperly discarded hardware in less than 12 hours. For these reasons, electronic data security should be of the utmost importance for business and IT managers.
"Shred-it is proud to support Data Privacy Day and remind organizations that customer and employee privacy should be a top priority," says Mike Skidmore, Chief Security & Privacy Officer at Shred-it, an Information Security company that provides secure document and eMedia destruction services worldwide. "A breach may lead to cases of identity theft and fraud for the individuals affected, not to mention reputational damage for the company. We urge business leaders to adopt stringent security measures to protect themselves and their clients against such incidents."
"NCSA is pleased to have Shred-it taking an active role in Data Privacy Day. Strong industry leadership is critical to getting the message out to people and businesses around the world on how to protect their digital footprint and information," said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance. "This year, we encourage all digital citizens and organizations to take an active role in learning safe practices and behaviors to secure and protect their personal information as well as any personal information others entrust to them. Protecting data is a responsibility we all share."
Shred-it is pleased to offer the following tips on information security and data privacy for organizational decision-makers:
- Conduct a formal information security audit, listing all potential risks that may threaten the security of organizations' confidential business and customer information. Examine the lifecycle of paper and electronic documents produced by an organization, from content generation and storage to data transfer and document/ hard drive destruction.
- Create a comprehensive information security strategy and implement security policies that govern all units of an organization and are compliant with national identity theft and privacy legislation.
- Only collect essential customer data and do not store it longer than necessary.
- Restrict internal access to sensitive customer information to key personnel.
- Train staff in secure document management and destruction.
- Implement a "shred-all" policy that ensures all paper documents are securely destroyed on a regular basis and follows a stringent chain-of-custody process.
- Don't overlook hard drives on computers or photocopiers. Erasing hard drives does not mean that the data is gone. Physical hard drive destruction is proven to be the only 100% secure way to destroy data from hard drives permanently.
- Configure passwords to protect wireless networks and use unique passwords for secure sites (ensure these passwords include numbers or capitalized letters).
- Build an organizational culture that values and respects confidentiality and privacy.
About International Data Privacy Day
Data Privacy Day is an annual International celebration designed to promote awareness about privacy and education about best privacy practices. In this networked world, in which we are thoroughly digitized, Data Privacy Day promotes awareness about the many ways personal information is collected, stored, used, and shared, and education about privacy practices that will enable individuals to protect their personal information. It brings together advocates from businesses, governments, academics and not-for-profit organizations to promote collaboration and encourage dialogue on the issue of privacy. The Data Privacy Day initiative is supported by official sponsors Intel and ebay Inc. as well as partners Microsoft, Intuit, Comcast, NQ Mobile, MasterCard Worldwide, AT&T and Google.
Shred-it is a world-leading information security company providing document destruction services that ensure the security and integrity of our clients' private information. The company operates 140 service locations in 16 countries worldwide, servicing more than 150,000 global, national and local businesses, including the world's top intelligence and security agencies, more than 500 police forces, 1,500 hospitals, 8,500 bank branches and 1,200 universities and colleges. For more information, please visit www.shredit.com.
More information about how organizations can protect the privacy of their customers both online and offline is available at: www.resource.shredit.com/Home. More information about Data Privacy Day can be found at www.staysafeonline.org/dpd.
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