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Free Shredding? 8 Ways Do-It-Yourself Shredding Can Increase Costs

Posted October 05, 2017 by Lynn Brown


Some companies think they can save money by buying a shredding machine and shredding the confidential paper documents they don’t need any more in-house.

But while a shredding machine may seem inexpensive, here are 8 ways do-it-yourself shredding can add up.

  1. DATA SECURITY: Do-it-yourself shredding lacks the necessary security controls and process to protect confidential information – increasing risk of a data breach and all kinds of costs. A data breach can damage an organization’s reputation, cause negative media coverage, and lead to a loss of customers. According to a Ponemon Institute study, in 2017 the global average cost of a data breach was $141per lost or stolen record. The average size of a data breach in the study was 24,000 plus records. Outsource: A professional document destruction company provides a secure chain of custody from start (locked consoles in the workplace) to finish (secure shredding of documents by security-trained professionals).
  2. REASSEMBLY? In-house shredding machines are often strip shredders – and the long strips that are created can be reassembled. The risk of a data breach increases whether insider fraudsters or dumpster divers steal the shredded paper. Outsource: A professional document destruction company utilizes industrial cross-cut shredding, which destroys documents by turning them into confetti-like pieces.  
  3. PROOF OF DESTRUCTION? For regulated compliance, companies are required to have proof that documents have been securely shredded. In-house shredding is often haphazard and without records – and that can lead to legal fines. Outsource: A document destruction professional provides a Certificate of Destruction after every shred.
  4. EFFICIENCY: Many office shredders cannot handle metal materials such as staples, binders, paperclips, etc. These items must be manually removed from documents before shredding. There’s also time and effort required to separate documents into easily-shredded portions, feed paper into the shredder, empty the receptacle, clean up the area, and put the bag of paper into the dumpster. Outsource: Industrial shredding machines can handle paper clips and other materials, and shred materials quickly and effectively.   
  5. WAGES: Employees who shred have less time for the tasks they were hired to do. Outsource: All employees have to do is put documents that need to be destroyed into conveniently located locked tamper-proof consoles. Security-trained professionals take care of the rest.  
  6. MAINTENANCE: A shredding machine will require maintenance and repairs. Outsource: Contracted shredding by a professional includes all overhead costs.  
  7. VOLUME: During busy times such as tax time or the end of the financial year, the amount of paper documents that must be destroyed increases. But the shredder can still only do often just 5 sheets at a time – the employee has to spend more time shredding. Outsource: Shredding is scheduled as required.
  8. EMPLOYEE ERROR:Without policy or process, errors are inevitable. Among 874 security incidents reported by companies in a 2016 study, 568 were caused by employee or contractor negligence.Outsource: Earlier Ponemon research showed that respondents believed an outside shredding service is more reliable than employees. Implement a Shred-it all Policy too so all documents are destroyed when no longer needed.   

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


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