March 25, 2014

White Collar Crime on the Rise in the United States

New York; March 25, 2014 - White-collar crime is on the rise in the United States with nearly 6 out of 10 offences discovered to be “inside jobs.” As a result, Shred-it is taking the opportunity to encourage American businesses to protect themselves against criminals targeting confidential information, and join them in removing office recycling bins.

According to a recent PriceWaterhouseCooper report, 45 per cent of American organizations suffered from fraud in the past two years, which is higher than the global average of 37 per cent. Of those organizations, 50 per cent reported that the most serious crime in the past 24 months was committed by an internal perpetrator.

Although the primary purpose of the recycling bin is to dispose of documents, they create a hotbed of opportunity for white-collar criminals. Particularly due to the fact that much of the information recycled within office environments today is confidential.

The security and confidentiality of information inside your organization is simply too important to be left to the discretion of employees. Instituting organizational policies for storing and disposing of confidential information removes choice from the equation and makes the desired behavior easy and automatic.

“In my combined 38 years of public and private policing I’ve seen it happen many times. The biggest enemy companies face is the enemy within, which is why recycling confidential information or simply throwing documents in the garbage is a risky decision that leaves a company open to costly fraud,” said Ron Wretham, CEO, Investigative Solutions Network Inc. “When you factor in the cost of recouping the damages of the fraud itself and the cost of investigating and improving security measures, it is clear that organizations must ensure employees are destroying documents in a safe and secure manner.”

Shred-it suggests the following tips to help American organizations decrease white collar crime:

  • Replace office recycling bins with locked shredding bins
  • Avoid document overflow by ensuring there are enough confidential shredding bins
  • Ensure employees are clear about what kind of information should and should not be deposited in recycling bins and waste paper baskets
  • Ensure that memory sticks and CD-ROMs containing confidential data are tracked at all times and never left for passers-by to easily pick up
  • Ensure photocopiers are wiped clean before the machine reaches the end of its service life
  • Implement a ‘clean desk’ policy as an effective way to ensure sensitive documents are not left unattended
  • Treat confidential electronic data the same as paper-based information; ensure document destruction providers dispose of hard drives properly so confidential information cannot be retrieved

“Because most organizations do not have a policy for storing and disposing of confidential information, employees are often left to determine how to dispose of documents," said Mike Skidmore, Chief Security and Privacy Officer at Shred-it. "Replacing office recycling bins with locked shredding bins removes the decision-making process and eliminates risk of fraud. And, because shredded material is still recycled, organizations are able to protect their information, decrease exposure to fraudulent activity and maintain their commitment to recycling and the environment.”

About Shred-it
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.

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