October 20, 2015

Going Paperless? 6 Reasons Why an Organization Might Reconsider

Has your workplace made a commitment to go paperless?

While going paperless is known as an environmentally friendly initiative with a range of benefits (including reduced paper, waste and shipping costs, reduced storage needs, a tidier workplace, and a modern, high tech image), it’s important to know that having digitized information within a virtual infrastructure will present its own set of challenges. (A virtual infrastructure is having the company’s desktop operating system within a virtual machine).

While a combination of electronic and print media is the way most workplaces still manage documentation and records, here’s what you need to know if going paperless is a goal.

  1. Hard drive security and cybersecurity are persistent business risks. According to the Global State of Information Security Survey 2015, 42.8 million security incidents were detected by respondents in 2014, which is an increase of 48% compared to the previous year. The estimated average financial loss attributed to and cybersecurity incidents was $2.7 million, up 34% over 2013. The survey also reported that the World Economic Forum rated cyber attacks among its top five risks.    
  2. Breaches will cost more. A 2015 Kaspersky study showed that companies with a virtual infrastructure had to spend double to recover from a security breach. Small and medium sized businesses reported that the involvement of virtual infrastructure in a security breach cost them close to $60,000 per incident – while an attack on their physical infrastructure averaged $26,000. The study showed that larger enterprises spend more than $800,000 on recovery.
  3. The paper industry has changed. "What people often don't realize is that the paper-making process is sustainable,” said Mark Pitts of the American Forest and Paper Association in an article at theguardian.com. The association reported that more than 65% of paper in the U.S. was recycled in 2012, making it the country’s most recyclable commodity.
  4. Customer attitudes are important. According to a Two Sides survey, 8 out of 10 people in the U.S. were suspicious of a company’s motives to push e-billing – they suspected that companies were financially motivated.
  5. There’s still a general preference for paper. According to the story in theguardian.com, more than half of customers in a Forester Research Inc. study were still opting for a paper statement.
  6. E-waste is a growing issue. According to E-Waste Facts, the world produced 41.8 million tons of e-waste in 2014 – or 1.15 million 18-wheel trucks full. When digital information is no longer needed or electronics containing hard drives break down, secure destruction is necessary. (The hard drives in office equipment such as photo copiers and fax machines, for example, retain images of confidential information, and the equipment requires hard drive destruction.) Information security experts recommend hiring a reliable document destruction company that provides hard drive and e-media destruction services and partners with responsible recyclers across North America. An itemized Certificate of Destruction should be provided following destruction.

Does your shredding service provider use secure methods for hard drive destruction? Find out what's the most secure method and learn how Shred-it's hard drive destruction services can permanently secure your information.