December 19, 2017

Why Secure Document Destruction is Critical: Protect Your Business from Insider Threats and Dumpster Divers

Along with holiday lunches and the annual office party, December is a good time to plan an official cleaning day.

Business often slows down just before the holidays so getting everyone to de-clutter their work area is efficient use of their time. Plus, cleaning up now means employees will come back in the New Year to a tidy office. Research has shown a tidy office can help improve productivity and sends a positive message of organization and security.

Security is an important part of the equation because confidential information in the wrong hands can lead to identity theft and security breaches.

To de-clutter the office, everyone should go through items in their work areas to determine what can be stored, recycled, or securely destroyed. Confidential documents must be destroyed before they are sent for recycling. Documents should never be put intact into an open recycling bin.   

Here are reasons why a secure document destruction process is critical.

Insiders: Insider fraud is any security incident – malicious or in error – that occurs in the workplace. Among the 874 security incidents reported by companies in a recent Cost of Data Breach Study Global Analysis by Ponemon,568 were caused by employee or contractor negligence, 191 by malicious employees and criminals, and 85 by outsiders using stolen credentials. Partnering with a recognized third party for secure document destruction would limit the amount and extent to which insiders would have access to confidential data.  Documents that are no longer needed are deposited into locked, tamper-proof consoles where they are stored until security-trained personnel remove them for secure destruction.

Dumpster divers: If intact documents end up in outdoor dumpsters, the risk of a data breach also increases. Earlier research has shown that more than one in five (21%) Americans say they never shred any of the personal documents that could be used to steal their identity. According to Experian research, 40% of respondents don’t believe that criminals like dumpster divers go through trash and that this could expose their identities. A secure document destruction process would keep confidential information out of dumpsters altogether. A Shred-it all Policy is also recommended in the workplace so that all documents are securely destroyed when no longer needed. Paper documents would never end up in open recycling bins.

Data in transit: Traditional recycling is not governed by information security protocols. But there are regulatory bodies in document disposal. According to the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID), which operates in Europe and North America, the process of data destruction before recycling must include secure collection, storage, transport, destruction, and disposal of materials. Employee screening, monitoring, access control, policies and audit trails, are also monitored. Secure document destruction by a professional document destruction company would be part of a secure chain of custody with end-to-end tracking and protection of documents. Locked trucks and secure totes would keep documents safe in transit to secure, monitored facilities. By securely destroying discarded paper, organizations would fulfill legal obligations to protect confidential information too.

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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.