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September 22, 2016

Why Confidential Records Could Be Slipping Through the Cracks

Cyber theft and online fraud is a growing concern that can lead to serious outcomes, however, it’s important to remember that you need to keep your business secure and protected both online and offline.  At PROSHRED® Northern Virginia, we want to assist your company in preventing these security risks at your workplace.

How and where do these security risks begin? Employee error in itself is enough to cause data breaches. A strict records management program should be in place at your office to maintain privacy successfully. Should you have an irate or mischievous employee that gains access to information or you place of business is affected from an outsider, there are many approaches that can be used to obtain sensitive data from your Northern Virginia workplace. The positive news? With some very simple but effective solutions you can steer clear of information exposure.


Below are some common workplace vulnerabilities and the proper solutions to ensure security:  

Shared Computers: In several circumstances, if your employees are on shift work they will end up sharing computers; offices that are designed to be “open concept” may also be in an environment where computers are shared among staff.  The concern with this is that all employees have personal folders containing significant private information, and internet browsers typically save log-in details and password information that should be kept private.
Solutions: To ensure total protection at all times, every user should receive individual accounts with entirely unique sign-in details. Security permissions should also be taken into consideration as some employees may require more access than others. Of course, you should definitely utilize password protection software and strong passwords to deter hacking.

Garbage Bins: Are you discovering paperwork in your office recycling or garbage containers? Regardless of strict privacy legislation, a survey conducted by an office supplies company, discovered that close to half of U.S organizations failed to shred documents prior to disposal.
Solutions: Partner with an experienced document shredding company that also provides secure, lockable collection containers for secure storage before shredding. Many organizations will also implement a Shredall policy so there are no questions in regards to what information is deemed private. This policy alone ensures that documents are disposed of properly.

Office Printers: It’s pretty common knowledge that documents are often left at the printing station of an office; after all; sometimes files print twice or you walk away without retrieving your copy. It’s an easy mistake we’ve all made, and one that occurs regularly especially if there are distractions. Also, many copier and printers’ hard drives store copies of every document that has ever been scanned or printed, and because the drive can be removed manually, data can be accessed instantly.
Solutions:  Each of your printing stations should have posted reminders reinforcing the importance of securing files.  Consider using printing and scanning security codes or have an access-controlled area that’s strictly used for printing sensitive documents. Lastly, if it’s possible disable memory in equipment for further peace of mind.

Unorganized Office:  A messy and unorganized office is a disaster waiting to happen; cluttered desks, overflowing filing cabinets, and piled up paperwork creates the perfect environment for lost or stolen data.  If confidential information is left out in the open, it only takes a second for prying eyes to catch a glimpse of details that shouldn’t necessarily be for their knowledge. Furthermore, there is that risk that open discussions about private matters could be overheard if discussed in a common area.
Solutions: Prevent prying eyes and ears with sound-proofing in your Northern Virginia office, and through the use of a Clean Desk Policy. Always have controlled access in place within your workplace, and make sure all computers have privacy filters in place.

Hard Drives: Studies have revealed that the private data stored on old, outdated hard drives can still be recovered by information thieves, even if the drive was previously ‘erased’ or ‘degaussed’.
Solutions:  The only method of data removal that is 100% reliable is through secure, hard drive destruction. This will permanently destroy all data for good.

Reach out to the PROSHRED® Northern Virginia specialists, for document shredding services you trust entirely. If interested, we are happy to provide you with additional recommendations for increasing the security measures at your workplace. Contact us today at 1-571-262-7620.

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