While electronic data security is high on an organisations agenda, many fail to adequately address security of paper-based data. In reality, it would be a costly and detrimental mistake to assume that paper-based security risks have gone away.
Research from the ICO (during 2016) revealed that 40% of UK data security incidents were attributed to paper. These include:
Since then, 2017 has seen a further 20% increase in loss or theft of paperwork, thus heightening the importance of ensuring paper-based security protocols within all businesses.
Shredding paper-based documents can help companies to meet GDPR requirements by providing an effective way of disposing of data securely to prevent access by third parties. The GDPR is concerned with personal data handled by organisations in both electronic and physical formats, such as paper documents. If you fail to ensure proper procedures are taken to secure hardcopy documents, you pose a high risk to your businesses. This is because under the GDPR you are liable if a data breach leads to an individual’s information being stolen.
A key component of data security is proper paper disposal. Unshredded documents can be read by anyone, which can lead to sensitive information being breached. Shredding protects the reputation of your brand, your intellectual property and your sensitive commercial information.
You may still be at risk as many companies aren’t shredding to a high enough standard to prevent a data breach, or are exposed in other ways.
With the new GDPR legislation being implemented in 2018, shredding will have to play an even more important part in office life. Due to this, standard office shredders are not always sufficient to ensure that documents are destroyed completely, but luckily there are other methods which can help:
If you’re using an ordinary strip-cut shredder, you need to consider whether it’s shredding to a high enough standard. It should leave documents containing sensitive data unrecoverable once the shredding process has been completed. If not, you may need a cross-cut shredder, which shreds paper into finer pieces to mitigate the risk of shredded documents being reassembled.
Another common cause of non-compliance with document shredding is due to the task being time-consuming and difficult to manage, so often there is a delay between documents being earmarked for shredding and when they are actually shredded. Auto-Feed shredders remove one of the main frustrations of a traditional shredder – the need to spend time manually feeding documents into the shredder. In fact, employees could spend 98% less time shredding with Auto-Feed Shredders and if you have an office with three shredders, this could translate to a saving of £18,400 in employee productivity terms over the lifetime of the machines.
Then again, if you struggle to find any time to destroy your personal documents we can also help by offering a secure paper destruction and recycling service, to ensure that shredding takes place to a high level that complies with GDPR requirements. This service allows you to deposit ALL paper waste into our locked consoles for shredding and recycling. This helps to not only reduce potential risks to businesses (by taking the decision away from staff) but also reduces environmental impact (by recycling 100% of paper waste).
Our wide range of shredders and secure destruction service ensures your confidential documents are disposed of properly and inaccessible to third parties, so that your confidential information is unrecoverable when you’re finished with it.
Contact us to find out more about the secure disposal of sensitive information and how we can help you with your shredding requirements.