If you run a business, chances are you will be producing some sort of confidential waste. If an individual manages to get hold of this data then they can potentially use this to commit fraud or leak valuable information.
Perhaps the most memorable case of this was in July 2008 when a cabinet office employee managed to leave anti-terror documents on a train seat! Luckily these were found and whilst it caused a bit of a scandal, the situation could have been much worse had they fallen into the wrong hands!
In this blog, we will explore why it is important to protect confidential waste documents and the steps you can take to ensure your data protection from breaches.
What does a Data Breach mean?
A data breach is defined as the unauthorised access or theft of sensitive information by any external individual or entity. Examples of a breach could include unauthorised access to a system or confidential documents, malware attacks, phishing and insider threats.
Reasons why protecting hard copy documents are important
Having paper documents with confidential information that are unsecured can leave you vulnerable to data breaches.
Unprotected hard-copy documents can be easily stolen or misplaced, leaving your business open to the risk of data breaches and compliance fines.
It is important to consider the level of protection needed for hard copy documents, as if they fall into the wrong hands, it could lead to significant financial loss or even reputational damage for your business.
Steps to Protect Hard Copy Documents
A. Ensure access control and physical security at the premises
The first step to protecting your hard copy documents is to ensure access control and physical security at the premises. This includes implementing restricted access to the building and having CCTV or other surveillance systems in place. Additionally, if you store any confidential information onsite, it must be kept in a secure location, away from public areas.
B. Review print procedures, rules and processes regularly
It is essential to review print procedures, rules and processes on a regular basis to ensure that documents are kept secure. This includes setting appropriate security controls for printers so that confidential documents cannot be printed by unauthorised individuals. Additionally, it is essential to train staff on the importance of data security and how to handle paper documents safely.
C. Utilise document tracking and management systems
To further protect hard-copy documents, you should consider investing in a document tracking and management system. This will allow you to keep track of the location of all documents, as well as who has access to them. These systems also provide additional security features, such as document encryption and password protection.
D. Invest in digital scanning solutions to store documents safely online
Another way to protect your hard-copy documents is to invest in a digital scanning solution. This will allow you to scan paper documents and store them securely online, which eliminates the need for physical storage. Additionally, this will eliminate the risk of documents being misplaced or stolen.
E. Educate staff and users on document safety best practices
It is important to educate your staff and users on document safety best practices. This includes providing guidance on how to handle paper documents safely and securely, as well as the importance of disposing of documents securely when no longer needed.
F. Dispose of documents securely with shredders or incineration methods
When disposing of paper documents, it is essential to use a secure method such as cross-cut shredders or incineration methods. This will ensure that all confidential information is destroyed and cannot be accessed by unauthorised individuals.
A highly recommended solution for disposing of confidential documents is to have them collected by a waste management company specialised in securely destroying hard-copy documents. They will use secure methods such as cross-cut shredding, incineration and other techniques to ensure that all information stored in the documents is completely destroyed, rendering it inaccessible to any unauthorised individuals.
G. Keep track of compliance requirements for industry regulations
Finally, it is essential to keep track of any compliance requirements for the industry you are in. This will ensure that your business is compliant with relevant regulations and can help prevent data breaches from occurring.
In summary, to ensure the safety of hard-copy documents, businesses should take steps to protect them from falling into the wrong hands. These steps include ensuring access control and physical security at the premises, regularly reviewing print procedures and rules, utilising document tracking and management systems, investing in digital scanning solutions to store documents securely online, educating staff and users on document safety best practices, and disposing of documents securely with cross-cut shredders or incineration methods. Additionally, businesses should keep track of any compliance requirements for their industry to ensure they are compliant with the relevant regulations. By implementing these steps, businesses can help protect their hard copy documents and reduce the risk of a data breach occurring.
If you need to make sure your business is handling and disposing of confidential waste correctly get in touch with CDDL RECYCLING We provide secure and reliable data destruction solutions that meet all industry regulations. Get in touch today to learn more about our document destruction services.
Gain peace of mind knowing CDDL will ensure your confidential documents are securely destroyed and disposed of with industry-compliant procedures, preventing any potential data breach. Protect your business’s hard-copy documents today to reduce the risk of a data breach.