Shred-it’s 2019 Year-in-Review - Information Security

Posted  December 03, 2019  by  Shred-it

Part 1 of 3: Four Reports to Protect Confidential Information

As 2019 comes to a close, we are reflecting on key learnings from the past year and providing practical tips for readers concerned about protecting their data.  Here are four important trends and takeaways from a few of Shred-it’s 2019 information security surveys and reports that will help you implement a comprehensive security strategy:
  1.  Ninth Annual Data Protection Report 
Human error is often the main cause of a data breach. In fact, 52% of C-Suites and 40% of small business owners report human error or accidental loss by an employee is the main cause of a breach.

Key Tip: Give employees the knowledge and tools to succeed by instituting formal data security training. Quarterly lunch and learn sessions, desktop reminders or standard policies like incident response plans are all ways of ensuring employees are educated, aware and know how to respond to the latest threats. And don’t forget, keeping employees secure while away from the office is a growing challenge, as more and more employees are opting to work from home on a regular basis. Implementing a Remote Work Policy can help your business remain secure no matter where employees are located.
  1.  2019 Tax Season and Fraud Prevention Report
With about 20% of people admitting they do not shred tax paperwork before throwing them away, it’s no surprise 1 in 4 taxpayers know someone who has been a victim of tax fraud or tax identity theft.

Key Tip: Be smart before, during and after tax season by protecting your confidential information and credentials. Tax information and tax documents that you need to keep should be locked away safely. Everything else, including personal information on paper and hard drives, should be securely destroyed and shredded when it is no longer needed.
  1.  “The Security of Confidential Documents in the Workplace” conducted by the Ponemon Institute
The majority (68%) of businesses experienced at least one data breach in the past 12 months, largely due to the loss or theft of paper documents or electronic devices containing sensitive information.

Key Tip: Foster a culture of information security within your organization. Starting from the top, make sure data protection is an integral part of an organization’s corporate culture. This way, no matter the position, all employees set an example for incorporating daily security habits into their routine, thereby reducing the risk of mistakes and future data breaches.
  1. International Fraud Awareness Week Report
Over 1 in 5 (22%) victims of information fraud or identity theft reported that someone stole their information from physical paper documents.

Key Tip: Enforce a Shred-it All Policy for paper documents at home and at work by specifying that all documents be destroyed when they are no longer needed. This avoids any confusion as to what needs to be shredded. Items such as receipts, shipping labels, credit statements and anything else with personal information that can be used by identity thieves should be securely destroyed.

We have plenty more information security best practices and trends to share before the end of the year. Check in next week for Part 2 of our 3-part 2019 Year-in-Review series to learn more about how Shred-it's new Risk-Assessment tool can help you determine your risk of a data breach, and what you can do about it. 

To learn more about how Shred-it can protect your documents, please contact us to get a free quote and security risk assessment.

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