Recognizing Vulnerabilities in the Office

Posted  May 17, 2019  by  Lynn Brown



Did you know that your office is one of the biggest threats exposing you to a data breach? Whether it’s your home office or the desk you sit at every day, there are many security risks that come with the territory if the proper precautions aren’t taken. That’s why it is important to learn how to recognize and manage data security risks in the office. 

Take some time to learn about the top five most vulnerable areas in your office – and what to do about them? 
  1. First, the office printer. How many times have you hit the print button only to forget to pick up your documents? Paper is frequently left in printing trays or scattered around the copy room. Although this might seem like an innocent mistake, the consequences can be catastrophic if those documents get into the wrong hands. An easy solution is to implement print codes at your office that make it mandatory for workers to input a password before documents are printed.
  2. Second, waste bins and non-secure recycling bins. It’s very easy to toss documents into the recycling bin at the end of the day. Although this might seem like you’re doing the right thing by recycling paper, you are exposing your company - and yourself- to a potential data breach. Shred-it will not only protect your business from a data breach, but will also ensure all paper is recycled in an environmentally friendly way after being destroyed. 
  3. Third, messy desks. Hectic work schedules and deadlines can make it easy to neglect information security at your workspace. However, with the rise of the open office concept and remote work, all employees need to prioritize data protection and ensure no documents are left on their desks for prolonged periods of time. Implementing a Clean Desk Policy that requires employees to clean their desk at the end of each day is one solution that can help mitigate the risks.
  4. Fourth, IT storage and devices. USB sticks, old laptops and cellphones all contain an enormous amount of information. Even after the device is wiped, there are ways to access the information which is why it is essential to physically destroy these old electronic devices when they are no longer needed. 
  5. Finally, don’t neglect common rooms. It’s easy for employees to leave presentation decks and other documents in the staff room, however those documents can compromise your business  if  an employee or office visitor with malicious intentions gets their hands on the information. Don’t forget to shred all documents that are no longer needed before leaving commons spaces. 

Although many individuals believe that cyber-attacks are the leading cause of data breaches at an organization, the reality is that human error is the leading cause. It’s also important to mention that millennials, those aged 18-34, are the least likely to prioritize information security according to our 2018 Security Tracker. That is why organizations need to train staff members and be reminded of the risks throughout the year.  

To learn more about how Shred-it can protect your documents, fill out a form to get a free quote and security risk assessment. 

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