Are there gaps in your data security?

In 2024, business is moving at a faster rate than ever. Not only do we have to adapt to the increased use of automated digital systems and AI, many aspects of business are still tethered to physical paper documents. Hopefully, everyone knows that importance of information security and confidentiality, but with so many parts to juggle it can be easy to overlook important aspects of protecting your data. In this article we cover three common gaps in data security plans.

1. Not implementing a shred all policy for data security

At the typical business, there is still a lot of paper floating around. A great deal of that paper might be unimportant with no secure or confidential information. However, even seemingly unimportant paper can contain information which legally and/or ethically should handling and destroyed securely. For instance, post-its can contain employee or customer data, in-office memos can contain confidential company data, and eve junk mail can be used to scam or exploit.

At many businesses, individual employees are left to determine what paper should be destroyed securely, through shredding or other means, and which paper is safe to go straight into the regular garbage. In only takes one bad decision to expose your company to criticism and liability. To avoid any issues, it is best to implement a company-wide shred all policy.

This kind of policy makes it very easy for all employees to understand that any paper should be shredded, or place in a secure bin for shredding by a professional company. This simplification takes control out of the hands of random employees and standardizes company practices across board. From a legal perspective this also establishes best practices and shows a regular schedule of document destruction. Another upside, is that a professional shredding service will also send all of the shredded paper for recycling.

2. Failure to destroy hard drives and devices

As technology continues to progress at an ever increasing rate, businesses are forced to sometimes race to keep up. While we all understand the importance of securing our networks and digital spaces, it is often easy to forget about the technology from yesterday. Just because a computer is outdated and has been replaced, does not mean it has ceased being a security risk. The hard drive still holds important information which needs to securely destroyed. The same situation is true for any device or anything that contains a hard drive.

You may have been told that it is fine to dispose of computers and devices if you simply factory reset them. However, this is grossly misleading. Factory resets and deletion do not actually erase data, they simply allow new information to be written. There are wiping programs which try to overwrite the existing data with randomized data, but this programs can be hit and miss.

The only guaranteed method of destroying the data on hard drives and devices is physical destruction by an industrial crusher. This destruction will render the data inaccessible. A professions destruction service will also be able to send some of the material components for recycling which further guarantees the devices can never be reconstructed.

3. Not digitizing important physical documents

In order to expand access to documents across your organization and standardize security, it is important o digitize critical physical documents. Beyond access, you may need to just create a back up system. In any case, you can use a professional document scanning service to convert your documents into digital files. This may be something you need to budget for, because this is typically considered a premium service and has a price tag to indicate that.

 

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