Maintaining an organized workspace can be a challenge. As documents and files accumulate, so does the risk of fraud or a data breach. According to the IBM Cost of Data Breach Report, in 2022 a data breach in the U.S. cost more than double the global average, amounting to $9.4 million compared to $4.35 million.
Failing to securely store and dispose of documents and electronic devices can increase their vulnerability to a physical data breach. Therefore, businesses should work with their employees and implement necessary measures to protect confidential information.
The 2022 Shred-it® Data Protection Report (DPR) reveals critical insights into the data security challenges of small business leaders (SBLs). Only 27% of the SBLs surveyed indicated that they collect and destroy physical assets that store sensitive information when no longer needed (e.g., printed materials, computers, hard drives). This data suggests that SBLs should consider prioritizing protecting their sensitive physical assets, in addition to putting more stringent digital safeguards in place.
The DPR also revealed that 67% of the SBLs feared their employees lack knowledge about best practices to help prevent a data breach, and 66% feared that their employees do not know what actions to take if a data breach occurs.
To help mitigate the risks associated with physical data breaches, businesses should prioritize educating their employees on security protocols and establish comprehensive strategies for properly handling and disposing of sensitive information.
Benefits of a One-Time Shred
A one-time shred service can help businesses clear clutter and protect confidential data, especially physical information. Some of the main benefits include:
Reduced human error: Research has demonstrated that clutter can distract employees from performing their jobs effectively and increase the likelihood of errors. According to the 2022 DPR, 48% of the SBLs surveyed cited human error by an employee as the primary cause of data breaches. You can help your employees focus better and make fewer mistakes by eliminating clutter through a one-time shred.
Theft prevention: Boxes of old files and papers stacked in the office can attract malicious insiders and other individuals seeking valuable data. While physical safeguards can help, decluttering the office with a one-time, on-demand shred service adds an extra layer of protection against information theft.
Compliance with laws: Simply throwing out documents in an unsecured manner — or just holding onto them indefinitely — could put a company at risk of violating laws that govern how confidential information is gathered, stored, and disposed Depending on your location, industry, and other factors, there may be rules governing which documents you need to keep and for how long. Your business may also have its own retention policy. Engaging a shredding service to assist with a one-time clean out can help you stay consistent with these obligations.
Proof of Service: After a one-time, on-demand shred visit is complete, a professional service, like Shred-it®, will issue a Proof of Service. The Proof of Service confirms that the intended materials have been collected and will be securely destroyed.
Learn more about how a Shred-it® one-time shred can help protect your small business from a physical data breach.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Often Should Small Businesses Consider Using a One-Time Shred Service?
The frequency of service depends on the specific needs of the business. A Shred-it® timely paper shredding service can help clear your office clutter and protect your information in a matter of days.
Express and Priority services are available to provide a guaranteed high level of service with a two or five-day turnaround. If you choose a regular service and your container fills up too fast, Shred-it®’s team can schedule an extra pick-up or provide additional containers.
If you choose a one-time cleanout and require shredding performed on a more regular basis, Shred-it® can upgrade you to a regularly-scheduled service.
Can a One-Time Shred Service Handle Both Physical and Digital Data Destruction?
A one-time shred service offers secure paper shredding and hard drive destruction. Contact Shred-it® for availability of the hard drive destruction service.
How do you Properly Implement Record Retention and Destruction Policies?
Depending on your location, industry, and other factors, there may be laws outlining which documents you need to keep and for how long. Your business may also have a document retention policy. To help implement a document retention policy, business leaders need:
A list of applicable document retention obligations