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July 7, 2016

Why Businesses Should Put Information Security First

According to a data breach study sponsored by IBM, every confidential record that is lost or stolen costs a company around $150. This expense includes the loss of business, the loss of the company’s reputation, and the cost of investigating and repairing the damage. For a company with hundreds or thousands of financial and customer records, this can add up to millions of dollars in the cost of information security. It is not enough to spend your information security budget on fortifying your systems against cyber attacks. There is another point of vulnerability that can compromise business information security, which is the mishandling of data files by employees.

Protecting the client

With more and more businesses conducting business virtually, maintaining the privacy of clients is becoming an essential business practice. In many cases, if a business can’t establish absolute trust with potential clients, those clients may turn to the competition. If a business has a reputation for providing customers with complete security, those customers will continue to provide the business with the income it needs to thrive.

Neglecting Paper waste

Although most companies protect their electronic documents and intranet portals with online security, they may neglect to protect their paper documents. When printouts containing important company information are disposed of, they are often thrown into unsecured dumpsters or recycled without being destroyed first. Theft from waste sites can put private company and client information in the wrong hands. Research shows that about 30 percent of companies lack formal parameters for document destruction.

The most expensive garbage

Many of those companies also don’t have the legal resources to deal with a breach in security. If documents with sensitive company or client information are stolen, the financial consequences of the theft can pose a significant financial burden on a business. In addition to the financial effects, the impact on a company’s reputation can exponentially increase the blow.

Keep documents safe

Companies may not realize how much sensitive information is tossed into the garbage on a daily basis. Everything from employee records to client data can lead to information theft and destruction of a company’s reputation. When documents are no longer in active use, they should be adequately destroyed.

Companies can keep their information safe by establishing guidelines that require employees and staff to:

A layered approach to document protection involves setting up guidelines that safeguard both electronic and paper information. Requiring visitors to sign in when they enter and exit the building can prevent inside theft. Properly training employees on document maintenance and appropriate destruction methods can set the stage for adequate information security. Policies that require members of a company to shred anything that goes into the garbage ensure that no essential information leaves the building. Using a professional document destruction service regularly can ensure that all paper information stays within the confines of the business, protecting its employees, clients and reputation.

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