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In this issue, we will discuss how Canadian organizations continue to be complacent about information security.
It’s no secret that the improper disclosure of confidential information is risky and can cause damage to corporate reputations. In today’s business climate, savvy business leaders know it simply makes good business sense to arm employees with tools and resources to safely manage information.
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Shred-it’s 4th Annual Information Security Tracker shows business leaders are taking little to no action to make information security a priority. In fact, the study shows that in some instances, information security policies have actually decreased. Considering the fact that Canadians are more aware of their information security risks than ever before, it’s clear more needs to be done to motivate business leaders to take action.
According to the annual study conducted by Ipsos Reid:
When you consider that the average cost of a data breach is nearly $6 million, there is plenty of cause for concern. Organizations need to take more responsibility in safeguarding confidential information not only for their stakeholders, but also for their corporate livelihoods.
Are you doing enough?
To take control and properly manage your confidential data, keep the following suggestions in mind:
Recent reports confirm that last year close to a million Canadians had their private information compromised by a data breach. It’s clear that today, more than ever before, organizations need to prioritize information security by implement protocols that help protect documents and hardware.
The gap between policy and practice leads to weakness in information security
Imagine what would happen to your organization if you lost personal information, including social insurance numbers, names and dates of birth, home addresses and telephone numbers for more than 500,000 Canadians?
For Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) it was a reality when a portable hard drive containing personal information for student loan recipients disappeared.1
An investigation by the Privacy Commission of Canada found the hard drive had been left unsecured with no data encryption or even a protected password; while the ESDC says there is no evidence the personal information stored on the hard drive was used for fraudulent purposes, for those 583,000 individuals whose personal information went missing, confidence in the ESDC has been tarnished with many questioning security protocols of other government departments.
Unfortunately, the ESDC is not the only organization lacking in cyber-security policies. Shred-it’s 4th Annual Security Tracker revealed that most Canadian organizations don’t have a protocol for destroying data stored on hard drives. According to the study, almost half of the small business owners surveyed had never disposed of hardware containing confidential information, and of the C-suite executives surveyed, half didn’t know the proper method for destroying confidential data stored on hard drives.2
It is likely that the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s investigation will prompt other federal government departments to review their policies and practices, which is great news for everyone.
Three Simple Workplace Guidelines Are Designed to Safeguard Hard Drives:
What types of electronic media can be destroyed?
For more information on tips for Federal Institutions Using Portable Storage Devices please visit the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s website here.
If your organization experiences a data breach, there are a few important steps that should be taken immediately:
Quick corrective measures are essential, but it is also critical for companies to take proactive steps to prevent further breaches from occurring.
Please visit the Shred-it Resource Centre for more information on successfully implementing an information security program in your organization. You can also stay informed with Shred-it on Facebook and LinkedIn or you can follow us on Twitter at @Shredit
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