February 23, 2017
Who hasn't made this important note to self – ‘declutter office’?
Decluttering is a great way to keep an office clean and tidy. But with today’s alarming threat landscape, it has become an important information security strategy too.
Productivity: Paper clutter is the No. 1 problem for most businesses, and employees waste several hours a week searching for papers, according to the National Association of Professional Organizers. Tidying up loose papers will increase both productivity and security. Tips to declutter: Revise the filing system, and start digitizing documents so information is easier to find. Protect storage devices containing restricted or sensitive information, and back-up files regularly.
Compliance: In order to comply with privacy laws and other industry requirements, it's important to properly label confidential information with how long it must be kept on file and when it can be securely destroyed. Tips to declutter: Utilize a Document Management Policy that provides document handling procedures and protects confidential information from creation to disposal.
Security: Decluttering helps reduce the risk of information breaches caused by human error. According to Verizon's 2016 Data Breach Investigations Report, human errors continue to be among companies' top data security threats. Tips to declutter: Purge digital and paper files regularly to get rid of documentation that is no longer needed. Secure disposal of information is critical.
Insider opportunity: Declutter strategies help reduce the risk of insider fraud. When documents are left out on desks and in open garbage containers, confidential information is at risk to insider fraudsters. Tips to declutter: Have a Clean Desk Policy that directs all employees to keep their workspaces free from clutter and exposed confidential information. Desks must be cleared at the end of every workday. When leaving the desk for a short time, employees should make sure confidential information is not visible and computer screens are locked. The policy helps make decluttering an on-going process.
Reputation: An earlier survey by a staffing firm showed that 57% of people judge others by how clean or dirty they keep their workspaces, and overall corporate reputation can be affected by appearances too. Tips to declutter: Help protect an organization’s reputation by implementing a Shred-it All Policy so that all documents are destroyed when no longer needed. Since there’s no decision-making on the part of employees, the risk of employee error is also reduced.
Cost: Decluttering strategies help reduce the overall cost of data breaches. In the 2016 Cost of Data Breach Study, the total average cost that organizations paid increased from $6.53 million to $7.01 million. Tips to declutter: Outsource document destruction to better protect confidential information and reduce the risk of a data breach. Partner with an information destruction services expert that has a secure chain of custody and secure paper shredding and hard drive and e-media destruction services.
Decluttering your office means more than just your desk. Learn about 5 vulnerable areas where office fraud can occur – and how to protect yourself.