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In this issue, we will discuss how American organizations continue to be complacent about information security.
It’s no secret that the improper disclosure of confidential information is risky and can cause damage to corporate reputations. In today’s business climate, savvy business leaders know it simply makes good business sense to arm employees with tools and resources to safely manage information.
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Shred-it’s 4th Annual Information Security Tracker shows business leaders are taking little to no action to make information security a priority. In fact, the study shows that in some instances, information security policies have actually decreased. Considering the fact that Americans are more aware of their information security risks than ever before, it’s clear more needs to be done to motivate business leaders to take action.
According to the annual study conducted by Ipsos Reid:
When you consider that the average cost of a data breach is nearly $6 million, there is plenty of cause for concern. Organizations need to take more responsibility in safeguarding confidential information not only for their stakeholders, but also for their corporate livelihoods.
Are you doing enough?
To take control and properly manage your confidential data, keep the following suggestions in mind:
Data breaches like the one that recently affected Target, compromising 40 million credit and debit cards, show that today, more than ever before, organizations need to prioritize information security and implement protocols to help protect confidential documents and hardware.1
The gap between policy and practice leads to weakness in information security
Imagine what would happen to your organization if you lost customer information, including credit and debit card numbers for millions of Americans? For Home Depot that scenario has become reality as security experts are reporting a massive theft of confidential information that may be linked to the retail giant.2
According to investigators, customer data may have been stolen from nearly all of Home Depot’s 2,200 stores in the United States. While authorities have yet to confirm or deny that Home Depot is the responsible party, the company has since moved quickly to calm customers’ worries by offering credit monitoring services to those potentially affected by the breach.3
Quick corrective measures such as the ones taken by Home Depot are appropriate considering the issue at hand. When you consider that companies are digitally attacked an average of 16,856 times a year, it should be no surprise to smart business leaders that they need to take proactive steps to prevent breaches from occurring in the first place.4
Online attacks are not the only threat to an organizations information security. Businesses must ensure all data is secure, including hard drives and physical documents. As recently as June of this year, an employee at a Georgian law firm lost a hard drive containing names, social security numbers and other personal information when it was stolen from the trunk of his car.5 While details of this data loss were not shared publicly, one can well imagine the impact to the firm’s reputation and revenue.
Shred-it’s 4th Annual Security Tracker revealed that 60 percent of U.S. small business owners and 30 per cent of c-suite executives have no policy in place for destroying digital assets. The study also revealed that almost half of the small business owners surveyed had never disposed of hardware containing confidential information. It is clear more needs to be done. American businesses need to prioritize information security, and they need to start as soon as possible.6
Three Simple Workplace Guidelines Are Designed to Safeguard Hard Drives:
What types of electronic media can be destroyed?
If your organization experiences a data breach, there are a few important steps that should be taken immediately:
Quick corrective measures are essential, but it is also critical for companies to take proactive steps to prevent further breaches from occurring.
Please visit the Shred-it Resource Centre for more information on successfully implementing an information security program in your organization. You can also stay informed with Shred-it on Facebook and LinkedIn or you can follow us on Twitter at @Shredit
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