Vulnerabilities of an Office

Did you know that 28% of data breaches happen because of human error? Well, that’s according to the 2017 Cost of a Data Breach Study conducted by Ponemon Institute. With people busier than ever, we are even more at risk of overlooking potential areas of risk when it comes to information security.

When it comes to the office, there are 4 key vulnerabilities you should be aware of. They are all very common mistakes.

1. Photocopiers and Blue Bins
Because people often leave their paper and confidential documents lying around here, a fraudster could quickly pick them up and walk off with this information. It is important for you to implement security codes at printers and ensure that all the documents are taken to your desk.

As for recycling bins, they are a threat to security because people can’t decide which information is confidential and often make the wrong judgment. Implement a Shred-it All Policy to take the guesswork out of what should and should not be shred and make sure ALL information remains secure.

2. Hard Drive Storage
The second vulnerability is hard drive storage. Most companies stockpile this information and then completely forget about it. It leaves them pretty vulnerable, especially if an expert hacker picks this stuff up, they can get all the company’s information. Please make sure that when your hard drives, e-media, and other data reaches the end of its life, it’s securely destroyed.

3. Messy Desks
The third vulnerability is a messy desk. So many people are guilty of this – I know I am. Sticky notes, memos, and other documents. Somebody can just walk right in and know other information they’re not supposed to know. You should really consider a Clean Desk Policy which requires all employees to clear their desk if they are away for extended periods of time.

4. Working from Home
The fourth vulnerability is when people work from home. They take all kinds of confidential information and leave it in public places, coffee shops, their vehicles, or anything like that.

You should implement a comprehensive work from home policy which outlines how confidential documents should be handled outside of the office. They should also never be taken home if not necessary, but if they are, how to securely dispose of them after they’ve been used.

By addressing these four threats, you reduce the risk of becoming a victim of a data breach. And that is how Shred-it protects what matters.


To learn more about information security best practices, visit the Shred-it Resource Center and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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