Houston’s economy depends on several core areas, including the energy, oil & gas, auto, medical, technological, and research industries. Each industry has its own procedures and legal requirements regarding data security. While all industries are required to dispose of information in a secure way, many choose to shred and recycle their remnant information because it’s secure, economical, earth friendly, and it is the law! Many choose to outsource document shredding because it’s the safest way to secure company, client, and supplier information and have a documented workflow of chain of custody. Here are ten industries at risk and why they should use shredding:
Medical & Healthcare
The medical industry in Houston has one of the largest healthcare industries in the world and has steadily grown over the past five years. As you have probably noticed, health professional offices collect numerous points of patient information, including address, phone and social security numbers, credit card and medical information. Even in the paperless office, paper information is still prevalent and needs to be securely managed until it is destroyed. HIPAA requirements require medical offices to properly & securely destroy patient information when disposing it. This includes using a professional paper shredding service instead of using a personal office shredder or placing documents into dumpsters. Even shredded paper, if not properly disposed of has confidential information on it and can be retrieved. In addition, HIPAA requires health professionals to use hard drive destruction on old computers when purchasing new computer equipment with a chain of custody report documenting the destruction process, serial numbers of the hard drive, and proper disposal the remnant pieces via a NAID AAA process and a R2 certified refiner of the metals. A couple of the information privacy laws that affect this industry in Houston are HIPAA, HITECH, FACTA, GLBA, and the Texas IDA (Information Destruction Act).
Companies such as banks, credit unions, Auto Dealers (yes, auto dealers are considered financial institutions) and debit or credit card businesses also collect numerous amounts of customer information. If this information was left on an old computer hard drive or found on papers in a recycling or trash bin, people could have their identity stolen. It’s the LAW the financial services industry secures sensitive document information. A couple of the legislative bills and information privacy laws that affect this industry in Houston are HIPAA, HITECH, FACTA, GLBA, Sarbanes-Oxley, and the Texas IDA (Information Destruction Act).
The auto industry gathers purchasing, insurance, and other information, such as driver’s license, social security, and VIN numbers. They also arrange financing and extend credit. It’s important they shred these documents in addition to documents with sensitive employee information. If this type of information accidentally became available to the public, it would create many problems for an auto dealer or repair facility and could harm your company’s reputation. Many of the legislative bills and information privacy laws that affect this industry in Houston are HIPAA, HITECH, FACTA, GLBA, Sarbanes-Oxley, and the Texas IDA (Information Destruction Act).
Energy & Oil
Houston is known as the energy, oil, and gas capital of the world. Over 3,000 energy-related businesses call Houston their home. With this kind of competition, it’s important to make sure your industry trade secrets are secured and your clients & employees information are secure. If a competitor gained access to your company’s confidential business information, your profits could drop overnight and your public image could be permanently harmed. Not to mention many of the same laws pertain to this sector including HIPAA, FACTA, and the Texas IDA (Information Destruction Act)… Not to mention TRADE SECRETS!
Education/ School System
The education system, including public schools and Universities also collects numerous amounts of information on its employees and students. It is imperative to use paper and hard drive shredding, or else individual addresses, emails, phone and social security numbers can be publicized to the world and students’ education records could be unlawfully exposed. Most school systems are required to use a professional shredding company that can provide a documented chain of custody and securely recycle remnant information. Many of the same laws affect this industry including, but not limited to HIPAA, FACTA, Texas IDA, and FERPA. FERPA is the Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records.
City, county, state, and federal government systems are required to securely dispose of information and many use outsourced Paper and Hard Drive shredding. Their computer programs and file records hold confidential information on residents, businesses, and the community. If someone found this data on an old hard drive or on papers in the trash or extras on a copier/fax machine, they could steal citizens’ identities and cause irreparable harm in public confidence toward their municipal county or state jurisdiction. Many of the above mention legislative bills and information privacy laws still pertain to government offices in Houston such as HIPAA, HITECH, FACTA, GLBA, and the Texas IDA (Information Destruction Act).
Technology companies store thousands of important passwords, IP addresses, html codes, and partner information. If an unauthorized person gains access to a company’s technological information, the company could suffer major losses. Once a hacker finds this data, they can break into your website, change company data, and create other disasters. Using hard drive shredding when you dispose of or retire old computers eliminate risk and will solve this problem. IT related firms have the same requirements as any other company. Many of the legislative bills and information privacy laws that affect this industry in Houston are HIPAA, HITECH, FACTA, GLBA, Sarbanes-Oxley, and the Texas IDA (Information Destruction Act).
Manufacturing plants store various company and payment information for their customers and suppliers. These warehouses and factories also hold important employee, company, and industry data. If a competing company receives access to your company’s secrets, you may experience a step back in performance. Keep your information secure by using a paper shredding company. This is very similar to the energy industry. If a competitor gained access to your company’s confidential information, your profits could drop overnight and your public image could be permanently harmed. Not to mention many of the same laws pertain to this sector including HIPAA, FACTA, and the Texas IDA (Information Destruction Act). Oh! And don’t forget TRADE SECRETS!
Research & Development
Numerous amounts of computer storage and paper are used at research and development companies. This is because of the many notes, reports, and data findings used in this industry. If this information is fictitiously found, people can misinterpret the data and cause a company or industry casualty. Make sure your business uses paper shredding to protect its information. Legislative bills and information privacy laws that affect this industry in Houston include but are not limited to HIPAA, HITECH, FACTA, GLBA, Sarbanes-Oxley, and the Texas IDA (Information Destruction Act).
Retail & Ecommerce
Retail businesses, such as grocery stores and shopping centers also collect numerous amounts of employee, customer, and company information. If computer hard drives are not professionally cleared or destroyed when retiring old devices, your company faces a security risk. In addition, company papers with employee phone numbers and payroll or banking information can be found in local recycling or trash bins if not properly shredded. Make sure your business uses a secure shredding service that keeps your information safe and provides you with a paper trail for audit purposes of your destruction procedures. Many of the legislative bills and information privacy laws that affect this industry in Houston are HIPAA, HITECH, FACTA, GLBA, Sarbanes-Oxley, and the Texas IDA (Information Destruction Act).
If your Houston company falls under one of these ten industries, take care of your business by using an onsite paper and hard drive shredding service to complete the chain of custody before it leaves your business or entity. It’s important to protect your organization, your customers, as well as your suppliers. If your papers or computer hard drives are not properly destroyed & disposed of, information can be exposed and fall into the wrong hands. Keep your business information secure, with PROSHRED® of Houston, Houston’s top shredding company. We can provide onsite, drop off, scheduled, and one-time shredding. We are here to help you meet your industry’s data security and destruction requirements. Call today for a free estimate. 1-832-947-5700.