Last year more than 82% of respondents in a global workplace survey by Veritas admitted they were data hoarders.
Data hoarding, also known as digital hoarding, is when a workplace holds onto most of the data that is being received and handled.
There is so much data being generated today.
Experts say that 2.5 ‘quintillion’ bytes of data (it would fill 10 million Blu-Ray discs) is now being created every day. When social media traffic is factored in, the numbers are even more mind-boggling. By 2019, for example, 246 billion emails will be sent every day, according to research by the Radicati Group.
Information on paper is being hoarded in the workplace too. Thepaperlessproject.com reported that the average office worker uses about 10,000 sheets of copy paper every year. While 45% of paper that is printed in offices is disposed of by the end of the day (security experts recommend all documents are securely shredded), 55% of the paper documents are kept.
Here’s why organizations and individuals have to manage data more carefully, and stop data hoarding.
- Compliance: Privacy laws and legislation govern the protection of confidential information from creation to destruction with financial penalties for non-compliance. But Veritas reported that three-quarters of study respondents still stored unencrypted personal records, job applications, company secrets, and correspondence. How to manage: Establish secure compliance procedures.
- Security: Hoarding digital and physical data can provide opportunities for information thieves. How to manage: Teach employees the importance of information security. Partner with a trustworthy data destruction company that embeds secure digital and paper destruction services and procedures into the workplace.
- Productivity: Thepaperlessproject.com reported that a typical employee can spend 30-40% of his time looking for information. How to manage: Follow a comprehensive document management policy. Securely destroy information when it is no longer needed.
- Slower breach response: Almost 86% of respondents in the Veritas report said that stored data has become a hindrance and would increase the time it takes to respond to a data breach. How to manage: Teach employees to purge files regularly. Produce a detailed breach response plan.
- Wastes money: According to research, each four-drawer file cabinet holds up to 12,000 documents, takes up to 9 square feet of floor space, and costs $1,500 per year to maintain. How to manage: Be selective about what data is saved, convert important documents to a digital format (and securely shred the paper version), and consider cloud storage.
- Clogs servers: The Veritas research showed that IT decision makers save 54% of the digital data they create... but 41% of digital files go unmodified for three or more years. How to manage: Don’t save any information that is not needed. Do not stockpile old hard drives. Partner with a professional company for secure hard drive and e-media destruction services.
- Reputation: A cluttered workplace sends the wrong message to employees, business partners, and customers and can damage reputation. How to manage: Educate employees about the risks and costs of hoarding. Implement a Clean Desk Policy so that digital and paper documents are protected at all times.
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