November 20, 2023

An Effective Data Compliance Strategy Can Benefit From a Strong Third-Party Relationship

As businesses deal with increasing amounts of consumer data, it is essential to comply with data security regulations and stay up-to-date on any changes. When regulations are not met, businesses can be more vulnerable to data breaches. IBM reports that the average data breach costs $9.48 million in the United States, which is an expense small businesses cannot afford. As such, a compliant data protection strategy should be a high priority.

The shifting regulatory landscape can be seen as a complex, burdensome, and costly barrier to compliance for small businesses. In fact, according to the Shred-it® 2023 Data Protection Report (DPR), most small business leaders (SBLs) agree that it is much more difficult for a small business to navigate changing regulations than it is for a larger one, and these concerns appear to be growing.

As a result, many small businesses are not making updates to their business operations to address regulatory changes, and 61% of SBLs surveyed say they do not have adequate support to navigate today’s regulations.

The unique regulatory challenges found in the DPR for small businesses include:

  • Lack of resources: 84% of SBLs surveyed believe that larger businesses have an easier time complying because they have more resources.
  • Nature of regulations: 81% of SBLs surveyed agree that data protection regulations are tailored to large businesses.
  • Impact of regulations: 79% of SBLs surveyed agree that small businesses are disproportionately impacted by regulations.
  • Worries about changing regulations: 76% of SBLs surveyed worry that regulations will become more complicated and burdensome for small businesses in the future.
  • Uneven playing field for small businesses: 72% of SBLs surveyed reported that today’s rules have created an unfair situation for small businesses.

However, there are various strategies that SBLs can employ to help address regulatory changes, including:

  • Training employees on regulatory changes (52% of SBLs surveyed are currently doing this.)
  • Increasing or establishing internal teams dedicated to data security and compliance (only 51% of SBLs surveyed are currently doing this.)
  • ·Actively monitoring changes to regulations (52% of SBLs surveyed are currently doing this, which is a drop from 60% in 2022.)
  • Outsourcing data protection, management, and compliance to a third-party vendor or subcontractor (40% of SBLs surveyed are doing this currently.)

Collaborating with a trusted third-party data security partner can help small businesses comply with the complex, shifting regulatory landscape. Currently, about half of SBLs surveyed are using a third-party vendor or subcontractor to help manage their company’s sensitive data, and this group finds their partnerships deeply valuable. Further, 67% of SBLs surveyed are overwhelmed at the thought of changing procedures to meet existing regulations, and third parties can provide support to help reduce these anxieties.

Trusted third-party partners can provide SBLs with effective data protection tools, services, and employee training programs that help meet their organization’s needs. This can help SBLs gain more confidence in their organization’s ability to protect their business’ sensitive data.

There are various things to look for in a data destruction partner, including:

  • Physical security expertise: This includes providing the recommended employee-facing guidelines and policies. For example, Shred-it® suggests implementing a clean desk policy that requires physical documents to be shredded or placed in a locked space and that all technological devices be password-protected each time an employee leaves a workspace. Similarly, a Shred-it all policy encourages regular destruction of all documents to help ensure that no confidential information is left vulnerable to a physical data breach. Clear policies can help prevent unexpected data breaches later and protect your business and its customers.
  • Service reliability: Shred-it® has one of the largest footprints in North America, allowing it to serve the most business addresses throughout the United States and Canada. With a large shredding fleet, Shred-it® has the resources to help ensure fewer service disruptions and the ability to assist companies who have an unexpected increase in document destruction needs.
  • A variety of service solutions: Shred-it® offers a wide range of reliable data destruction services that are designed to best meet your needs.
  • NAID Certification: NAID AAA Certification ensures secure data destruction companies are complying with government information security regulations.

A third-party relationship with a secure document destruction service, like Shred-it®, can help your small business take steps toward better data protection today and in the future.

For additional insights into the unique regulatory challenges faced by small businesses, download our infographic.

Learn more about Shred-it® and how we can help protect your business with our physical data destruction services.

Get the Infographic