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In this issue we will take an in-depth look at new insight into the security habits and attitudes of small and medium sized businesses operating in the United States.
The results from an independent survey – the Shred-it Information Security Tracker - conducted by Ipsos Reid and commissioned by Shred-it across Canada, the U.S. and the UK - indicate that while U.S. small businesses recognize the risk of security breaches within their organizations, most aren’t regularly reviewing their security processes, conducting audits or training employees to help safeguard the business’ confidential information. According to the 2013 Shred-it Information Security Tracker, 40 percent of small business owners have no protocols in place for securing data, a five percent increase from last year.
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The risk of printed information falling into the wrong hands remains a constant threat, despite increased use of technology and computers to exchange information. Files may be shared electronically, but printed copies are still the norm and the information they contain is often easier to obtain than the originals saved on a computer.
In assessing how often small businesses reviewed the processes on secure document destruction, 30.2 percent of U.S. respondents had done a secure document destruction review in the past six months, however, 25.1 percent had never reviewed their processes.
Having a secure document destruction process in place and ensuring employees are trained and follow the process is critical to the security of sensitive information.
In order to avoid the risk of a data breach it is important that small organizations implement information security policies and protcols:
Implementing policies and procedures is one thing, but it is also important that all employees are aware of the information destruction procedures and trained on a regular basis. According to the Shred-it Information Security Tracker results, 79 percent of U.S. respondents admitted they were aware of the legal requirements of storing, keeping and disposing confidential data, yet more than 1/3 of the small businesses never train staff on the company’s information-security procedures and protocols. The results also showed that 48% of companies have no one directly responsible for management of data security.
Ensuring that information security is taken seriously at every level within a business is vital to minimizing the risk of exposure that could lead to a data breach. Safeguarding data does not need to be an onerous task and there are simple steps any organization of any size can take to minimize the risk.
By taking such steps and regularly reviewing security policies, organizations large and small can protect themselves from the significant long-term impact of a data breach. If staff are not aware that there are policies and procedures in place, mistakes may occur, which could prove potentially fatal to the future of the business.
Shred-it has developed a survey to help businesses better understand security gaps. Conduct your own security self-assessment.
To learn more about Shred-it services or to book your FREE security assessment visit www.shredit.com.
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