Challenges Businesses Face in Securing Sensitive Information: Data Security

Posted by Ray Barry

Sensitive documents in the workplace have always been a key concern for employees at every level of an organization. As technology continues to advance, the question of security becomes more complicated than ever.  The traditional security measures certainly have their place in the digital world, but they need to be expanded if businesses hope to keep their most valuable information safe. The security risks in the workplace are such that your staff is vulnerable to everything from sophisticated viruses to social engineering tactics. 

Finding Security Risks in The Workplace

The key to practically any positive change in your workplace is to be as proactive as possible. There are few things worse than facing a catastrophe without even a hint of what went wrong. Now is the time to start thinking like a criminal would, so your specific vulnerabilities can be easily spotted. Are your passwords complex enough? Do you have a strict enough protocol regarding your physical documents? Are your shredding bins under lock and key? 

There's also the question of staying HIPAA compliant. These laws get stricter and stricter every year — and so do their enforcement. To remain within the law, shredded documents must meet their high standards so that no discernible private information can be read. If your papers can be reasonably reconstructed into its original form, then your company risks potential fines and other official reprimands. 

Business Documents You Should Shred

Every business has their own documents that should be shredded. Law firms, accounting firms, and insurance agencies, in particular, have strict laws that are meant to prevent their customers from experiencing any type of exploitation. Here are some general guidelines about what should be shredded in your organization:

  • Boarding passes
  • Credit history/pay stubs 
  • Financial data
  • Identifying password information (pet names, old street numbers, etc.)
  • Prescription/medical information
  • Receipts
  • Resumes
  • Return labels

This is yet another opportunity to be proactive about keeping information private. An old bill from a veterinarian may seem like a relatively harmless piece of paper to leave on a desk. However, it becomes far less harmless when you consider the fact that the password to your computer is your pet's name. A law firm or insurance agency needs to shred practically everything they come in contact with — from their client's information to the opposing party's data. 

How Shredding Documents Decreases Risk of Security Breaches

Crimes of opportunity are everywhere these days. It's easier than ever to do practically everything online, which is why it may only take a few identifying characteristics for a criminal to make their move. When you shred your documents, you not only manage to fulfill the laws, but you also ensure your own reputation. You protect your clients by keeping information from the wrong people. Whether it's a customer's credit card number or your own bank statements, you reduce the risks of any kind of breach. And while there are no guarantees for preventing every possible attack, shredding is a smart way to keep your sensitive data from prying eyes. 

Contacting Shred America for Shredding Services

Shred America is dedicated to preventing identity theft for all of our clients. We offer safe and reliable shredding services that our clients can use whenever they need to — whether it's once a decade or once a week. The benefits of shredding documents are clear to those who want smart long-term solutions. Because hackers learn by trial and error, you need to be aware of the new challenges that could get in the way of your goals. And because their tactics can change at any given time, your strategies need to be flexible enough to face new threats. 

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