In recent years, information security has transformed from an additive feature confined to building and IT departments, to a vital business function of high priority for C-suite executives. This change in corporate sentiment is partly led by consumers, as concern for data privacy continues to grow amid surging data breaches. A 2021 Cisco study found that 86% of consumers care about data privacy, and 79% of consumers consider data protection a buying factor. Moreover, nearly half of consumers have switched companies or providers because of their data privacy policies. Protecting both physical and digital private information should be fundamental to all business operations, or companies risk their customers’ trust and loyalty.
A business office holds many potential risks to information security that could easily go unnoticed. Some common data security risk areas include:
- Printers: Other employees can move or take papers containing sensitive data left on or in the printer. If possible, employees should consider enabling printer privacy settings on their computer, which hold documents from printing until the employee enters a secure code. Workers should remain in the printing area until documents are finished printing and confirm they have all the papers with them before returning to their desk. If making copies, employees should check that they have the original copy before leaving the printing area.
- Papers left in the open: Employees handling large amounts of physical data might lose or leave sensitive information in common areas, potentially exposing it to outsiders. To help mitigate this risk, employees should save only necessary information and destroy unneeded documents. If a document is saved on a computer or hard drive, any paper copies can be shredded. Additionally, companies should establish policies that guide employees against leaving sensitive information in open areas.
- Papers and unlocked computers on desks: Papers left on desks and unattended, unlocked computers can also pose significant information security risks, especially for employees working in open floor plans. Companies can address this threat by establishing a clean desk policy, which requires workers to store or destroy all documents and lock their computers before leaving their desk.
- Recycling bins and garbage cans: Recycling bins and garbage cans are easy ways to dispose of unneeded documents, but bad actors can search through the trash and gain access to private information. Companies should consider utilizing a document destruction service like Shred-it to help ensure secure data protection.
Secure document destruction helps protect physical data, thereby reducing the chances of a data breach and assists in safeguarding corporate reputations. Shred-it's wide range of secure document destruction services help businesses of all industries and sizes practice data security.
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